Title

IN THE DRIVING SEAT: PSYCHOSOCIAL BENEFITS FROM PRIVATE MOTOR VEHICLE TRANSPORT COMPARED TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2003

Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, planning - surveys, ridership - drivers, economics - benefits, mode - mass transit

Keywords

Transportation policy, Transit, Surveys, Social benefits, Public transit, Public health, Psychosocial aspects, Psychological effects, Psychological aspects, Private transportation, Men, Mass transit, Males, Local transit, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel, Automobile drivers

Abstract

To promote public health and reduce environmental pollution, the United Kingdom's current transportation policy emphasizes reduced reliance on private motor vehicle transportation. Paradoxically, epidemiological studies have consistently shown that car access is associated with longevity and better health. This study uses a mail survey of adults in Scotland to investigate the psychosocial benefits associated with public and private motor vehicle transportation. Results show that those with access to a car appear to gain more psychosocial benefits (protection, autonomy, prestige, self-esteem, mastery) from their habitual mode of transportation than do public transport users. Being a car driver conferred more benefits than being a passenger, except for self esteem, which was only associated with driving among men. Self-esteem was also associated with type of car among men but not women. One policy implication of these findings is that public transportation has to be made a more attractive, convenient and prestigious option which incorporates the benefits that people derive from travel by car (or that car access and use has to be made less psychosocially advantageous) in order to decrease car use and increase public transportation use.

Comments

Transportation Research Part F Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13698478