Towards operationalising and measuring the Traffic Safety Culture construct

Deborah C. Girasek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to increase our understanding of traffic safety culture (TSC) by identifying its constituent components. A review of existing safety culture literature was conducted. Next, 18 international experts participated in a Delphi Technique to rate candidate TSC components. Corresponding survey items were then developed and pretested. Our final survey instrument was mailed to a representative sample of 1700 US households. Their data were used to conduct a factor analysis that yielded a 15 factor structure. The factors that explained the most variance in TSC were support for increased government attention to traffic safety, strict monitoring and control of alcohol-impaired drivers, disapproval of speeding, and avoidance of aggressive driving. Other factors included local engagement, desire for government and private sector accountability, more information, school involvement, teen restrictions, willingness to invest and seatbelt use. This work represents a first attempt to operationalise TSC. Future research will be needed to refine and extend the tentative structure that has been identified. Valid and reliable measurement of this construct should facilitate traffic safety advocates' efforts to overcome the social challenges they face.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • culture
  • measurement
  • safety
  • traffic


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