Risk Perception and Mode of Transport Choice: A Conceptual Approach and Predictive Model

Network Safety and Security
By Pierre Barjonet, Michelle Gezentsvey, Celia Mores


Many French people are afraid of having an accident and being a victim of aggression in individual and public transport system. However, does this fear have any mobilising powers? The absence of this question in systematic studies on transport mode choice has been noted. With the aim of presenting an innovative model that incorporates psychological and practical features, this article unites four social science theories that deal with risk and decision-making under uncertainty: social representations, the psychometric approach, the anthropological approach and the cognitive psychology approach. Among the seven differentiated stages of the model proposed, the first considers accidentology and victimology rates, as well as modal characteristics (comfort, duration, cost). The second considers individual characteristics (age, gender, and “world vision”), experience and social influence. At the third stage, we find travel motivation. Next, this information is processed by a double information-treating system; the intuitive system is based on emotion and fear, the deliberative system on the calculation of expected utility. The primary transport choice is made at the fifth stage, becoming a habit at the sixth, until a critical incident at stage seven occurs that brings about the cycle once again.
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