Superstitious beliefs and practices in Pakistan: Implications for road safety
Submission Date: August 10, 2017 Journal
Suggested Citation: Kayani, A., Fleiter, J., & King, M. (2017). Superstitious beliefs and practices in Pakistan: Implications for road safety. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 28(3), 22-29.
Superstitious beliefs and practices represent barriers to safety-related behaviours, yet have received minimal research attention. To examine road crash causation perceptions, particularly the role of superstition, religious and cultural beliefs, 30 interviews with drivers, police, religious orators and policy makers were conducted in three Pakistani cities. Analyses revealed a variety of superstition-based crash attributions, including belief in the role of evil eye (malignant look) and use of black magic by rivals/enemies to bring harm. Popular conceptions of religion and use of objects and practices believed to prevent harm were reported. This research sought to gain an understanding of the nature of the relationship between superstitious attributions and the behaviours, with a view to informing road safety promotion and policy. It seems apparent that road safety countermeasures common in western countries may have little/no impact if the audience does not see such issues as valid reasons for why harm may occur.