The current study investigates the relationship between risky traffic behaviors and traffic sign comprehension (TSC). It is hypothesized that, as traffic sign comprehension increases, unsafe traffic behaviors decrease. The data were collected online through Qualtrics from 275 participants, 177 of whom were drivers. The questionnaire package included 25 open-ended traffic sign questions, Pedestrian Behavior Scale, Mini-Driver Behavior Questionnaire with 3 additional aggressive violation items, and a demographic information form. The results indicated that TSC was significantly related to reported driver errors and lapses after controlling for age and gender. In addition, pedestrian-related TSC was significantly related to reported pedestrian transgressions, lapses, aggressive behaviors, and positive behaviors after controlling for age, gender, driver's license, and driving experience. Generally, the results were consistent with the expectations: the better that road users (drivers and pedestrians) understand traffic signs, the fewer drivers and pedestrians reported unsafe behaviors (errors and lapses for drivers; transgressions, aggressive behaviors, and lapses for pedestrians), and the more pedestrians reported positive behaviors. This finding can be explained by the fact that as the need of people to understand traffic signs increases, they avoid behaviors that will lead to accidents in traffic. For this reason, it can be predicted that comprehensively introducing children to traffic signs from an early age will contribute positively to road safety.
Driver behavior, pedestrian behavior, risky behavior, traffic sign, traffic sign comprehension