Determinants and Consequences of Car Use
Chng Chong Wei, Samuel
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Global demand for road travel is likely to double by 2050, creating serious environmental and human health risks. Forms of transport that are more sustainable should, therefore, be encouraged. This research aimed to generate a better understanding of personal transport decisions to contribute towards improving interventions and policies for reducing car use with four studies. The first reviewed psychological theories applied to understanding car use. These theories have evolved to become more comprehensive, however, some mechanisms of car use choice remain unaccounted for. Thus, the CAUSE framework was developed with the review’s findings to provide an integrated conceptual overview of potentially modifiable antecedents of car use. The second is a quantitative analysis exploring the relationships between public transport connectivity, commuting and two aspects of wellbeing: life satisfaction and mental distress. Life satisfaction was related to mode choice and mental distress was related to public transport connectivity. The study highlights the role of connectivity when understanding the psychological effects of travel. The third is a cross-cultural interview study investigating transport decisions and experiences among two culturally different cities. Accessibility, affordability and comfort were common transport decision considerations. However, distinct differences were observed in the attitudes and perceptions of private vehicles due to the different transport policies in both cities. The fourth is a quantitative analysis exploring the considerations of environmental factors during car purchases. Pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours were found related to environment-related consideration during car purchases in general. However, the extent of the consideration and profile of these individuals differed significantly across sociodemographic and regions, possibly as a result of different policies. Overall, this research summarises the complexity of car use behaviour both at the theoretical and experiential levels. The implications of these findings for interventions and policies are discussed further in the final chapter of the thesis, alongside future directions for research in this area.
PhD in Medical Studies