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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DRIVER'S BACKGROUND AND DRIVER'S SPEED PREFERENCES

Nurul Farhana Binti Nasarrudin 1,a, Intan Suhana Binti Mohd Razelan2 and Azlina Binti Haji Ismail1

1.aMaster Student, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Earth Resources, University of Malaysia Pahang, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

2Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Earth Resources, University of Malaysia Pahang, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

1Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Earth Resources, University of Malaysia Pahang, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

Abstract. Nowadays, road accidents are common issues in the newspapers every day. The number of road accident cases increases year by year in Malaysia. According to statistics by Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, speeding is the second highest (21%) factors that contribute to crash. The aim of the study are to determine the speed preferences of the road users based on the environments of the road, to investigate the relationship between driver's background and driver's speed preferences, and to determine the difference between speed preferred by road users and the actual speed they used. A set of questionnaire was distributed to 90 respondents in University of Malaysia Pahang which consist of a variety of questions on gender, age, driving experience, classes of driving license, daily transportation, occupation, distance of residence to workplace and estimated driving hour for a day to get the driver's speed preferences. A radar gun was used to obtain the actual speed that road users used. The study areas are located at Federal Road 2 from KM3 until KM27. The result of this study showed that male drivers prefer to use higher speed compare to female drivers, the drivers aged below 50 years old prefer to use higher speed than drivers aged above 50 years old, the drivers who have driving license less than 5 years prefer to use slower speed, licensee for both classes B2 and D prefer to use higher speed compare to single license holder which is license B2 or D, car drivers prefer to use higher speed than motorcycle rider, the drivers with longer distance to workplace prefer to use higher speed and drivers with longer estimated driving hour will choose the higher speed. Other than that, the driver's speed preferences have been identified which is 80-90 km/hr. The result from cumulative frequency based on speed at 85th percentiles is 85 km/hr. In conclusion, this finding shows that driver's background imposed serious effects towards driver's speed preferences. Further research focusing on driver's background could be proposed in order to minimise contributing of speed as crash factors.

1 Introduction

Speed preferences are speed that drivers prefer to use on the road or highway. Driver's speed preferences or driver's speed choice means the driver's decision to travel at a selected rate of motion [1]. In other word, speed preferences are the speed where the drivers will decide to use for their ride.  Driving speed preferences is an important issue in traffic research [2]. It is because the relationship between greater risks and severe consequences when an accident occurs is the reason for the need of studying speed preferences. Speed may be further constrained by the drivers themselves in choosing to drive at any speed they consider safe and comfortable [3].

2 Literature Review

In Malaysia, road traffic accident has becomes a severe problem. According to the statistic from Malaysia Institute of Road Safety Research, the rate of road accidents occurred in year 2010 is 414,421 accidents. 2 years later in 2012, the rate of road accidents expanded to 462,423 accidents that increasing by 10.38% from the previous rate [4].According to statistics by Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, speeding is the second highest factor that contributes to car crashes with 21%[5].

Table 1.0: Crash contributor's factors

Main crash contributing factors out of the 439 cases Number %

Risky Driving 121 28

Speeding 93 21

Fatigue 70 16

Safety, Health and Environment 38 9

Road Defects 36 8

Driving Under the Influence 24 5

Brake Defects 20 5

Conspicuousness 18 4

Overloading 11 3

Type Defects 14 3

Source: MIROS

Therefore, it is also expected that driver's preferences played an important role in determining speed limit. The driver's preferences on the road area will affect the chosen speed.

Every preferences must have few factors that influenced it. In fact as outlined by WHO, the speed preferences are determined by few factors such as driver (age and gender), vehicle, environment and road [6]. Male accident rates are significant higher than those of female [7]. This is because male drivers tend to have less focus or lack of attention and less patience. Age also is a related factor that is seen as much important. Young drivers' involvement in speeding is a major rate of crashes and injuries [8].

Inexperience in driving can also contribute to road crash among young drivers. The crash risk will be decreased with driving experience [9]. This is because new drivers have less experience and lack skills in driving as well as lack control of the vehicles as compared to aged drivers.

Vehicle is related because in general, drivers tend to use a relatively high speed if the vehicle performs well.  This is because the greater the power of the car, the higher speed is used by the driver [10]. The different between the sizes of vehicle is also related to driver's speed preferences. It is because usually, the larger and heavier car has a greater power as compared to the small car.

3 Methodology

The selected locations for this study were within Gambang Town and Kuantan Town (Federal Road 2) from KM3 until KM27. This is because since the year 2004, this road has becoming very busy area due to opening of East Coast Expressway (LPT) which connect Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur.

90 sets of questionnaire are distributed to University of Malaysia Pahang community. Sets of questionnaire were distributed at hostel, classes, faculties, library, and laboratory. The questionnaires have two parts which are Part A and Part B. Part A is about driver's background while Part B about driver's speed preferences.  

Actual speed was observed using Radar Gun. The spot speed were taken at 3 phases which are 7.00 am until 9.00 noon, between 12.00 pm until 2.00 pm, and between 4.00 pm until 6.00 pm. Data of spot speed and speed preferences from the questionnaires were analysed using Microsoft Excel and SPSS.

4 Results and Discussions

 Figure 1: Speed Preferences of the Road Users

Figure 1 shows the speed preferences of road users at the selected locations. It shows 33 respondents out of 90 respondents chose the speed of 80-90 km/hr. This result may possibly be affected by the road environment where the figure in the questionnaire shows the road have two lanes, straight way, and day time. This finding also supported by Goldenbeld that the features of the road also have a clear effect on speed choice [11].

 Figure 2: Speed Preferences Based on Gender

Based on Figure 2, majority of male respondents, which are 14 respondents choose to use speed 60-70 km/hr. Meanwhile for female, majority of them choose to use speed 50-60 km/hr. So, it shows that male drivers still prefer to use higher speed compared to female drivers corresponding to research done by Palamara & Steveson which stated that male drivers are most likely to speed during driving [12].

 Figure 3: Speed Preferences Based on Age

Figure 3 show speed preferences based on age for respondents in different age range. It appears that majority of respondents aged between 20-29 prefer to use speed between 70-80 km/hr. For age between 30-39,5 respondents choose speed 80-90 km/hr. Meanwhile for the age between 40-49,3 respondents choose speed 80-90 km/hr. For the age above 50, there are only 2 respondents who answered the question which one respondent choose the speed 50-60 km/hr and the other one choose the speed 60-70 km/hr as their speed preferences. This result shows that driver aged around 20-29 years, 30-39 years and 40-49 years prefer to use higher speed as compared to drivers aged above 50 years old. This result also supported by Ferguson and Braitman, which they stated that the rate of speeding related to fatal crash was leading by young drivers [13]. These results show that age of drivers can affect their speed preferences.

 Figure 4: Speed Preferences Based on Driving Experience

Figure 4 show majority of less than 5 years driving experience drivers prefer to use speed 70-80 km/hr. For driving   experience between 5-10 years, 7 respondents choose the speed 80-90km/hr. Next is for driving experience between 11-15 years, where 2 respondents chose the speed of 70-80 km/hr and another 2 respondents chose the speed of 80-90 km/hr. Meanwhile, for driving experience more than 15 years, 5 respondents choose the speed 80-90. This result may possibly affected by the skill of driving. Drivers with more driving experience usually have more skills in driving and usually, they are familiar with various road environments. Based on research by Engstrom, the crash risk will be decreased with driving experience [8]. So, the result can be related with this finding, which the drivers who have less experience will drive slower to avoid the road crash.  

 Figure 5: Speed Preferences Based on Class of Driving License

Figure 5 show majority licensee class B2 which are 2 choose to use speed 60-70 km/hr. For driving license class D, majority 9 respondents choose to use speed 60-70 km/hr. Meanwhile, majority of licensee of both license (B2 and D) prefer to use higher speed (70-80 km/hr). So, it can be conclude that licensee for both classes B2 and D prefer to use higher speed compare to single license holder. This is because single license holder can ride motorcycles or car. For them, it is quite dangerous if they ride with higher speed because they use the same road with the other vehicles. If they used the higher speed on road, it could possibly contribute to road crashes.

 Figure 6: Speed Preferences Based on Daily Transportation

Figure 6 shows 7 respondents of motorcycle rider prefer to use speed 50-60 km/hr. Meanwhile for car drivers, there are 18 respondents prefer to use speed 60-70 km/hr. So, it can be concluded that car drivers prefer to use higher speed compared to motorcycle rider. This result may possibly be affected by the power of the vehicles. The greater the power of the vehicle, the higher speed is used by the riders. As we know, cars are more powerful than the motorcycles and there is a possibility for car drivers to perform with higher speed. This result also supported by Horswell & Coaster, which the high-powered vehicles contributed to the driver's speed preferences [14]. This is because drivers tend to use a relatively higher speed if the vehicles perform well.

 Figure 7: Speed Preferences Based on Occupation

Based on Figure 7, majority of staff which is 10 respondents prefer to use speed 80-90 km/hr. Meanwhile for student respondents, there are 19 students who prefer to use speed 70-80 km/hr. So, it can be conclude that staffs prefer to use higher speed compare to students. This result may possibly be affected by their responsibilities. For example, staff always is rushing because they have their own responsibility, such as pick up their children at school or any other obligations.

 Figure 8: Speed Preferences Based on Distance to Workplace

Based on Figure 8, majority of respondents prefer to use speed 70-80 km/hr when they have less than 15 km from workplace. Meanwhile for distance more than 15 km, majority of respondents which are 10 prefer to use speed 80-90 km/hr. So, it can be concluded that people who have the furthest distance range to workplace prefer to use higher speed as compared to people who travel less distance to workplace. The drivers with long distance to workplace prefer to use higher speed because it will save time to arrive at the workplace. Other than that, they need to reach the workplace early to avoid traffic jam. Sometimes, if they were trapped in traffic jam, they will take a very long time to arrive at the workplace.

 Figure 9: Speed Preferences Based on Driving Hours

Figure 9 shows, majority of respondents who drives less than 1 hr/day prefer to use speed 50-60 km/hr. For driving hours between 1-2 hr/day, 9 respondents prefer to use speed between 50-60 km/hr. Meanwhile for driving hours between 2-3 hr/day, majority 4 students choose the speed 70-80 km/hr. It clearly shows that drivers with longer estimated driving hour for a day will choose higher speed compared to shortest driving hour per day. This is because the drivers who drive in long driving hour will be bored during drive. So, they will increase their speed to drive faster and arrive to destination quickly.

 Figure 10: Actual Speed by Road Users

  Figure 11: Average Speed by Road Users

Based on Figure 10, it shows majority of road users used the speed 80-90 km/hr on the road. Meanwhile for Figure 11, it shows that the 85th percentile speed used by road user is 85 km/hr. The results from data analysis of questionnaire and observation data on the road clearly show that there is no difference between driver's speed preferences and actual speed drivers used.

5 Conclusions

From the analysis, it can be summarized that the speed preferences of the road users based on the environment of the road at selected locations is 80-90 km/hr. There also have a relationship between drivers' background and drivers' speed preferences where male drivers prefer to use higher speed compare to male drivers, the young drivers prefer to use higher speed compared to older drivers, the drivers who have less experience prefer to use lower speed compared to those who have more experience, licensee for both classes B2 and D prefer to use higher speed compare to single license holder, the car drivers prefer to use higher speed compared to motorcycle rider, the working drivers prefer to use higher speed compared to students, the drivers with long distance to workplace prefer to use higher speed than the drivers with shorter long distance to workplace, the drivers with longer estimated driving hour for a day choose higher speed than drivers with shorter estimated driving hour for a day. Other than that, there have no difference between speed preferred by road users and the actual speed they used. So, all objectives for this study have been answered.

6 References

1. Marit Ahie, L. (2014). Speed choice, speed preference and risk perception: Relevance for the problem of speed variability in traffic. Degree Thesis. The University of Waikato

2. M. Haglund and L. Aberg (2002). Stability in drivers' speed choice. Journal of Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour. pp. 177-188

3. Kanellaidis, G. 1995. Factors affecting drivers' choise of speed on roadway curves. Journal of Safety Research. 26: 49-56.

4. MIROS. 2015. General road accident data in Malaysia(1995-2012)(online). http://www.miros.gov.my/web/guest/road

5. Ahmad Noor Syukri ZA, Siti Atiqah MF, Fauziana L & Abdul Rahmat AM (2012), MIROS Crash Investigation and Reconstruction Annual Statistical Report 2007-2011, MRR 05/2012, Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research

6. WHO. 2004. World report on road traffic injury prevention.Genava: The World Health Report.

7. Al-Balbissi. A. 2003. Role of gender in road accidents. Journal of Traffic Injury Prevention. 4(1):64-73.

8. Vassallo, S., Smart, D., Sanson, A., Harrison, W., Harris, A., Cockfield, S., McIntyre, A. 2007. Risky driving among young Australian drivers: trends, precursors and correlates. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 39(3) :444'458.

9. Engstrom I. 2003. Passenger influence on young drivers. In L Dorn (Ed.) Driver behaviour and training. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate. 191-199.

10. Horswell, M. and Coaster, M. 2002. The effect of vehicle characteristics on driver's risk-taking behaviour. 45(2):85-104

11. Goldenbeld, C. and Van  Schagen, I.  2007. The credibility of speed limits on 80 km/h rural roads: The effects of road and personality characteristics. Accident Analysis &Prevention. 39 (6), 1121-1130.

12. Palamara, P.G & Stevenson,, M.R (2003). A longitudinal investigation of psychosocial risk factors for speeding offences among young motor car drivers.  Injury Research Centre, Department of Public Health, The University of Western Australian, Report 128.

13. Ferguson, S.A. and Braitman, K.A. 2006. Women's issues in highway safety: A summary of the literature. In Conference Proceedings 35: Research on Women's Issues in Transportation.  Report of Conference, Volume 1:  Conference Overview and Plenary Papers. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board 1: 39-50.

14. Horswell, M. & Coaster, M. (2002). The effect of vehicle characteristics on driver's risk-taking behaviour. 45(2):85-104

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