Influence of personality and fatalistic belief on taxi driver behaviour
Samuel, Olorunjuwon Michael
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The religious perception among individuals in sub-Saharan Africa that the ‘Big Five’ personality dimensions and fatalism are predictors of drivers’ behaviours and road accidents has received little scientific investigations. This paucity of research in the roles of psychological factors such as personality and fatalistic beliefs in shaping positive driver behaviour and attitudes has thus provided motivation for the conduct of this quantitative study. We collected data from 203 conveniently sampled taxi drivers in Gauteng province of South Africa by means of a structured questionnaire. Our analysis, using Structural Equation Modelling, found significant positive relationships between agreeableness and positive driver behaviour, conscientiousness and positive driver behaviour, fatalism and extraversion, as well as fatalism and positive driver behaviour. The results highlighted the dimensions of being methodical, organised, and risk aversive on the road, on the one hand, and being social, cooperative, and good-natured, on the other hand. Findings of the study further indicated that fatalistic beliefs are prevalent and indeed characteristic of individuals who are sociable, gregarious, and assertive. These individuals tend to uphold their religious and spiritual beliefs in the linkages between road accidents and destiny. Insights provided by this study could assist the Department of Transport and related Road Safety Authorities in designing road safety campaigns that addresses the erroneous beliefs by drivers that road accidents are pre-destined, and not as a result of individual’s driving behaviour.