A 20-month prospective study was conducted to investigate the effect of motorcycle crash experience on changes in risk taking among 2514 urban and 2304 rural students in Taiwan. Risk taking was assessed using a 14-item self-administered questionnaire at the beginning and end of the study. A risk-taking score for each student at the initial and the last follow-up assessments was generated from adding up points across all 14 items. For exposure variables, the study documented past motorcycle crash history at the initial assessment and collected detailed information about any motorcycle crash involvement that occurred during the study period. A general linear mixed model was applied to assess the effects of prior and recent crash involvements on the path of risk-taking behavior. The results show that at the initial assessment, students with crash experience had higher risk-taking levels than those without crash experience. However, crash experience, irregardless of whether it was measured in terms of crash history prior to the study, crash frequency, time elapsed since the last crash, or crash severity, did not significantly change the risk-taking path among students, even though its effect differed between urban and rural areas.
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