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Croyances et comportements de sécurité des usagers et agents du trafic routier : une étude des perceptions et de l'explication naïve des accidents de la route au Cameroun.

Abstract : This thesis intends to examine Cameroonians behaviors on the roads. Our objective is toknow how fatalistic beliefs, control beliefs, divine control beliefs, cultural beliefs and values,naive explanation of accidents and risk perception can affect road users and traffic agents’behaviors. Five studies are carried out within the framework of our thesis. The first study examined 522 actual accidents reports and shows that a large majority of accidents occur in good driving conditions. In addition, drivers accused each other of wrongdoing, but agree with the gendarmes that, drivers’ behavior is the main cause of trafic accidents in Cameroon. A second study evaluates the variability of behaviors according to the causal explanations and beliefs, on a sample of 525 participants. It is shown that, participants adopt safer behaviors when they explain accidents by drivers’ behavior, but their behavior tend to be less safe when they explain accidents by external and uncontrollable causes. Causal explanations tend to be external to drivers when participants are fatalists, believe they can face dangerous traffic situations without being worried, believe that God is in control of dangerous situations that they may faced or when they adhere strongly to cultural beliefs and values. In particular, cultural beliefs and values that are supposed to protect the life, fatalistic beliefs, divine control beliefs tend to promote the explanation of accidents in terms ofinvisible forces and induce unsafe behaviors. Finally, the mediating role of causalexplanations is confirmed on all the beliefs. From a quasi-experiment conducted with 444 participants, the third study analyzes the variation of the causal explanations and attitude towards prevention measures, according to the situational relevance, personal relevance, and the severity of the accident. It is shown that participants tend to provide defensive causal explanations especially when the accident situation is relevant to them, they identify themselves to the victim and when the accident is serious. In addition they prefer drivers-oriented preventive measures when they explainaccidents by the drivers’ behaviors. Study 4 shows a tendency to adopt unsafe behaviors when participants underestimate traffic risk. Moreover, they tend to underestimate the traffic risk when they are fatalistic, but they fear risk when they are attached to their cultural identity. Finally, participants tend to believe that they can face traffic risk without being worried when they believe that God controls dangerous situations, or when they believe on cultural practices intended to protect life. In Study 5, we show that participants tend to adopt safer behaviors when they feartraffic risk and explain accidents by controllable causes. They are rather careless on the roadswhen they fear risk but believe that accidents are caused by invisible forces. The results are consistent with previous studies and are discussed in relation to the theoretical knowledge. Finally, suggestions encourage preventive measures based on the beliefs of the target population.
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Robert Ngueutsa. Croyances et comportements de sécurité des usagers et agents du trafic routier : une étude des perceptions et de l'explication naïve des accidents de la route au Cameroun.. Psychologie. Université de Grenoble, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012GRENH002⟩. ⟨tel-00820973⟩

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