A Cross Cultural Study of Driving Behavior Using a Simulated Driving Environment

  • Juan Carlos Lar

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    Road accidents are a global pandemic. The UN has reported that the Eastern-Mediterranean region has the third-highest death rate by traffic injuries. In the UAE, it has been documented that young drivers between 18 and 30 cause most accidents. It has been established that the leading cause of road accidents is human errors related to driving behavior. Current technology like virtual reality offers a high degree of immersive feeling and a comprehensive option of responses that can be measured to evaluate driving behavior in a highly safe environment. A group of 12 females and 27 males completed a pre-test driving behavior questionnaire to report their personal driving experience in Abu Dhabi. The group represented young drivers with limited driving experience from multiple nationalities. A post-test survey evaluated their experience with the driving simulator. Participants drove through a virtual environment that resembled Abu Dhabi with six traffic events for measuring their response, such as traffic signal change, pedestrian crossing, vehicular intersection, and construction zone. Results showed that male drivers were less adhering to safe driving behavior than females. Although both males and females drove above the designated speed limit, male participants recorded higher distances over the limit on average. It was also found that young drivers tend to overestimate their skills. Features like gender, nationality, and driving experience were identified as factors that can contribute to this. Results and evidence of other research also suggest that traffic authorities should take into consideration the periodical reassessment of young individual driving skills.
    Date of AwardJul 2021
    Original languageAmerican English


    • Cross Cultural
    • Safe Driving
    • Virtual Environment
    • Driving Behavior.

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