Effects of personality traits and sociocognitive determinants on risky riding behaviors among Chinese e-bikers
Objective: In the last few decades, the growing popularity of e-bikes in China has raised public concerns regarding an increasing number of fatalities and injuries involving e-bikes. Although previous studies have explored the impacts of personality on driving behaviors of automobile drivers and motorcyclists, little attention has been paid to safety-related issues involving e-bikers from the aspect of their personality traits and sociocognitive variables. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of personality on e-bikers’ risk-taking behaviors and test the effectiveness of the model proposed by Ulleberg and Rundmo (2003) among e-bikers.
Methods: Four hundred and five Chinese e-bikers aged 16 to 61 completed a self-administrated questionnaire, which included questions investigating their demographics, personality traits (anger, altruism, sensation-seeking, normlessness), risk perceptions, safety attitudes, and risky riding behaviors. The reliability and validity of all scales were first examined through reliability analysis and principal component analysis, respectively, and a structural equation model was developed and fitted to test the relationships among e-bikers’ personality traits, risk perceptions, safety attitudes, and risky riding.
Results: A satisfactory level of reliability and validity was reached for all variables. Anger, altruism, sensation-seeking, and normlessness were all significantly related to e-bikers’ risk perceptions and unsafe riding, and only altruism correlated significantly to safety attitude. For 2 sociocognitive variables, safety attitudes was directly and negatively related to respondents’ risky riding, and risk perception only exerted impacts on riding behaviors by affecting safety attitudes.
Conclusions: Personality traits of e-bikers impacted their riding behaviors both directly and indirectly, and sociocognitive variables played an intermediate role in the personality–behavior relationship. The results revealed the importance of personality traits in influencing e-bikers’ risky riding and also verified the applicability of the personality–behavior model proposed by Ulleberg and Rundmo (2003) among e-bikers. The findings of this study may provide an empirical basis for evidence-based safety interventions for e-bikers in China.