Accident risk of foreign drivers: The case of Russian drivers in south-eastern Finland

Pekka Leviäkangas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Foreign drivers are considered to be a greater risk than domestic drivers in most countries in the world. Few empirical findings have been reported, though. This paper contributes some evidence of the risk of foreign drivers in south-eastern Finland during 1992-1995. Most of the foreign drivers are Russian. Based on accident statistics collected by the police and origin-destination studies carried out on the Finnish-Russian border stations, accident rates were calculated for both Finnish and foreign drivers. The results show that accident rates of foreign drivers are higher than rates of domestic drivers. The winter season is especially risky for foreign drivers. It is argued that the traffic culture of different countries largely explain the differences rather than some specific, technical risk parameters. Some probable risk parameters can be identified in this study, such as a lack of knowledge concerning traffic rules, insufficient winter-time driving skills and winter-time equipment, as well as the general attitude towards traffic safety which is reflected in the driving behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-254
Number of pages10
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998
MoE publication typeNot Eligible


  • Accident rates
  • Cross-cultural differences
  • Finland
  • Foreign drivers
  • Russia


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