Research Papers

Development of the CAR scale: A progress report

Filename Faw.pdf
Filesize 90 KB
Version 1
Date added June 6, 2010
Downloaded 1 time/fois
Category 2010 CMRSC XX Niagara
Tags Session 4A
Author/Auteur Harold W. Faw, Michael J. Witten


Human error is a contributing factor in the vast majority of road crashes. The present project builds on the important distinction between skills and styles and involves the creation of a scale designed to assess major driving styles. Three successive versions of the CAR Scale, each comprising approximately 35 items, were administered online to a combined sample of just over 600 drivers who ranged in age from 17 to 70. Demographic questions related to age, distances driven, and history of crashes were included in each for validation purposes, and the third version also incorporated the Driver Behavior Questionnaire (DBQ). Results were analyzed using a combination of exploratory factor analysis and traditional item analysis. Patterns of correlation between CAR Scale scores and driver characteristics along with correlations with the DBQ were also examined. Based on data from the third and final version of the CAR Scale, we identified three distinct driving types which were labeled Competing, Anticipating and Reacting styles. Internal consistency reliabilities ranged from .74 to .83, and patterns of correlation with the DBQ scales and with self-reported crashes were consistent with of the CAR Scale’s validity. Supported as well by a stable pattern of factor structure, the CAR Scale holds promise of becoming a reliable and valid measure of major driving styles across a range of ages. It needs to be further validated with a more diverse sample of drivers, as well as through patterns of correlation with other measures of driving style and with objective indicators of crash likelihood. If these expected patterns are confirmed, the CAR Scale will be established as a valuable research tool for helping to clarify the role played by driving styles in road crash causation and for developing interventions to reduce these crashes.

Harold W. Faw and Michael J. Witten