Author(s): Zümrüt Yıldırım-Yenier, Evelyn Vingilis, David L. Wiesenthal, Robert E. Mann, Jane Seeley
Slidedeck Presentation Only (no paper submitted):
Motor racing is listed as the world’s most popular sport and has the highest number of attendees of any sport in the US (Gnuschke, 2004). As motor racing includes high speed driving and risky manoeuvres, collision and injury risks exist for both drivers and spectators during racing events. However, two studies have examined the link between interest in motor sport and risky driving and collisions off the track. Sensation seeking significantly predicted interest in motor sport which significantly predicted positive attitudes towards speed and street racing among young males (Warn, Tranter & Kingham, 2004) and significantly predicted positive attitudes towards speed, which in turn predicted speeding violations in older males (Tranter & Warn, 2008), supporting a socio-cognitive model of behaviour. However, the researchers did not assess whether pathways were different for motor sports spectators or drivers.
To examine the relationship between sensation seeking, attitudes towards speeding, and self-reported driving violations among a sample of motor sports spectators and drivers.
A web-based survey was conducted among members and visitors of car club and racing websites in Ontario, Canada. Data were obtained from 353 participants (137 spectators, 216 drivers). The questionnaire included measures of (i) sensation seeking (Driver Thrill Seeking Scale), (ii) attitudes (Attitudes Towards Speed Limits on Roadways and Competitive Attitude Towards Driving Scale); (iii) self-reported driving violations (DBQ). The relationships among the concerned variables were tested with path analysis.
Results revealed among motor sports drivers that sensation seeking positively predicted self-reported driving violations (β=0.19; t=2.98) and indirectly predicted violations through competitive attitude towards driving (β=0.39; t=6.30 and β=0.27; t=4.22, respectively) and attitudes towards speed limits (β=0.23; t=3.53 and β=0.28; t=4.74, respectively). Among motor sports spectators, sensation seeking positively predicted self-reported driving violations (β=0.21; t=2.52) and indirectly predicted violations through competitive attitude towards driving (β=0.54; t=7.60 and β=0.44; t=5.47, respectively).
The findings indicated relationships among sensation seeking, speeding attitudes, and driving violations differed for motor sports spectators and drivers. While for both groups sensation seeking directly predicted driving violations and indirectly predicted violations through competitive attitude towards driving, the latter effect was more influential for spectators. Attitudes towards speed limits, however, mediated the relationship between sensation seeking and violations only for drivers.