Ethical Predispositions to Violate or Obey Traffic Rules and the Mediating Role of Driving Styles.

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    • Abstract:
      Traffic law violations are the most important determinants of traffic accidents. This study examined the influence of drivers' ethical perspective on their traffic violations and the mediating role of driving styles in these relationships. A sample of 313 drivers participated in the study. Contrary to expectations, high ethical relativism was found to be associated with fewer aggressive traffic violations. This suggests that the informal normative system that parallels the official traffic regulations is the more salient reference against which drivers usually assess the adequacy of their behaviors, highly relativistic drivers being more willing to also take into consideration the official traffic code in these appraisals. We also found significant interactions between idealism and relativism on both ordinary and aggressive violations. Idealism emerged as a predictor of these violations only in drivers low in relativism. In this group, one's concern about the harm that he/she might cause to other traffic participants induces higher traffic law abidingness. These influences of idealism were mediated by certain driving styles. Drivers' general ethical perspective fosters a specific pattern of driving styles and, consequently, the tendency to commit or to refrain from traffic violations. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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