Road Courtesy: A Prerogative of Gender, Age and Car Size

Authors: Edward Attard-Montalto, Simon Attard-Montalto

Corresponding: Simon Attard-Montalto (

Keywords: Road courtesy, gender, car size


Issue: Xjenza Online Vol. 6 Iss. 1 - September 2018

This study addressed the hypothesis that courtesy on busy Maltese roads was dependent on, or in uenced by, independent factors relating to the driver and car, or both. Courtesy was de ned when a driver with the right of way `allowed access' to another car onto a main road leading to a congested roundabout, whereby `courteous passage' was the only reasonable means of access for the second car. `Allowed' access to the same car (British Vehicle Classi cation [BVC] class 2, 17.5 years old in poor condition), with one driver aged 50+ and one passenger aged 17 years, approaching the same junction between 07:15 and 07:45 on school days was assessed. Details of all cars including BVC group that refused or allowed access, their drivers' gender and age ( 10 years), any accompanying passengers and the pre- vailing weather was recorded onto a standardised pro- forma. Data from 88 schooldays over 6 months resulted in 141 refusals plus 44 courteous passes (analysed), and 46 access events through gaps in trac (not analysed). The weather conditions and presence/absence of any co- passengers, whether adult or children, had no bearing on road courtesy. Courtesy was signi cantly enhanced with family saloons (BVC Groups 4{6) when compared with small cars (Group 1{3, p = 0:04), and luxury or work vehicles (Group 7{11, p = 0:0065), especially in those with male drivers aged 40+ (p = 0:022). Drivers of large and work vehicles, almost exclusively male (92%), were signi cantly less courteous (p = 0:025).

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