Natural Hazards

, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 927–942 | Cite as

Individual transportation decisions under conditions of risk and uncertainty

  • Lesley StrawdermanEmail author
  • Daniel W. Carruth
  • Kathleen Sherman-Morris
  • Philip Menard
  • Merrill Warkentin
  • Karen S. McNeal
Original Paper


This study explores the influence of three factors on a person’s decision to drive in winter weather: destination, affected area, and caution level. Participants (n = 555) completed an online survey that included scenarios with text of a simulated radio message involving a character named Mike. After the scenario, participants answered Likert-scaled questions related to their intention to drive (what would you do) and their recommended behavior for others (what should Mike do). There was a significant effect of destination and caution level on the decision to drive. Participants were more likely to respond that they would drive if the destination was work rather than dinner, and if the caution statement was “exercise caution” rather than “do not drive.” There were similar significant effects of destination and caution level on what the scenario character should do. It is recommended that a clear directive be included in warning messages to encourage drivers to stay off the roadways during hazardous weather.


Driver behavior Hazard Weather Warning message Winter 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Systems EngineeringMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA
  2. 2.Center for Advanced Vehicular SystemsMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA
  3. 3.Department of GeosciencesMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA
  4. 4.School of ComputingUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA
  5. 5.Department of Management and Information SystemsMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA
  6. 6.Department of GeosciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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