Explaining risks behind the wheel – Comparing Israeli and Queensland young drivers

Orit Taubman – Ben-Ari, Vera Skvirsky, Timothy J. Greenbury, Carlo G. Prato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Young novice drivers’ modes of driving are highly influenced by perceptions of norms conveyed by family and friends. Although risky driving of young drivers is a worldwide phenomenon, cross-cultural comparisons are rarely undertaken. Objective: To compare young drivers from Israel and Queensland (Australia) and look into contributors representing four sets of variables on different levels – background, personal, familial and social. Method: Young drivers, aged 17–22, from Israel (n = 161) and Queensland (n = 164), completed a set of valid and reliable self-report questionnaires: The Proneness to Reckless Driving Scale, The Aggression Questionnaire, The Family Climate for Road Safety, and The Safe Driving Climate among Friends scale. Results: A Bayesian estimation of the linear regression models aimed at finding the best specification to express the willingness to take risks as a function of the independent variables was conducted. It revealed that the estimated proportion of variance explained was 66.1% for the Israeli sample and 72.0% for the Queensland sample. In both samples, higher willingness to take risks was associated with a higher tendency towards aggressive behaviour, lower family orientation towards road safety, higher friends’ pressure, and lower commitment shared by friends while driving. In addition, women reported willingness to take lower risks than men and young drivers with separated or divorced parents reported higher willingness to drive recklessly than young drivers from intact families. Some variation exists with specific dimensions contributing differently to the two cultural samples. Conclusion: The findings of the current study confirm the utility of looking at multi-level variables when referring to young drivers’ risk taking, and indicate that two different samples drawn from diverse cultures yielded quite similar results. Importantly, the central roles of parents and friends should be considered in every endeavour to reduce the rates of risks undertaken by young drivers worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-192
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Family climate for road safety
  • Safe driving climate among friends
  • Trait aggression
  • Willingness to take risks
  • Young drivers


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