DWI offenders: Demography, perceptual driving skills and risk-taking behavior

Sexton, Judith L.
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Demography, perceptual driving skills and risk taking behavior were determined for 110 white, male, driving while intoxicated subjects enrolled in the Denton County Probation driver education program between April, 1987 and November, 1987. The average age of the subjects was 29 years and 49% were single. Seventy-nine subjects were blue collar workers (71.8%), and 21% did not complete high school. The majority of subjects reported yearly incomes of $15,000 or below (62.7%). The majority of subjects drove 6,000--18,000 miles per year, and had 13 years of driving experience. The average number of traffic tickets received was 5 (41.8%), and 52% reported 0--1 lifetime accidents. The majority of subjects reported zero alcohol-related accidents (71.8%), zero defensive driving courses (58.2%), and zero previous DWI courses (90%). The majority of subjects had taken driver education (62.7%). The subjects were given two audiovisual tests to determine perceptual driving skill (DPT) and driving risk taking behavior (DRI). A Spearman correlation indicated that a significant inverse relationship existed (p = .044) between scores on the DPT and the DRI. A multiple regression analysis indicated that educational level (p = .0106), and yearly earnings (p = .0021), were significant predictors of negative risk taking. Increased years of driving experience correlated with higher risk taking scores (p =.0033). The only significant predictor of high DPT scores was education (p =.0001).

Education, DWI, DWI offenders, Risk, Behavior