Safe Driving Climate among Friends (SDCaF): A new scale

Noga Guggenheim, Orit Taubman – Ben-Ari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Reckless driving among young people, especially young men, is a major cause of injury and fatalities the world over. Like other aspects of this age group, young drivers’ driving behaviors and norms are influenced by the accepted social discourse of their peers. Yet despite extensive existing knowledge on young drivers, very few studies have dealt specifically with their characteristic friendship relations. This lacuna in the literature may reflect the absence of specific research tools for examining driving with friends. To fill this gap, we conducted a series of studies with 706 young drivers (aged 17–24) of both sexes aimed at developing and validating a multidimensional scale designed to examine the effect of the social relations of adolescents and young adults on their driving. Entitled Safe Driving Climate among Friends (SDCaF), the final scale consists of 19 items, which tap four dimensions of driving with friends: friends' pressure; social costs of driving with friends; communication with friends about driving; and shared commitment to safe driving. The validity of the scale was established by examining associations between its four dimensions and various variables of personality, friendship, and driving. The findings indicate good reliability and validity, with the three variables of resistance to peer influence, self-disclosure, and personal responsibility for safe driving yielding positive associations with the SDCaF dimensions communication and shared commitment to safe driving, and negative associations with the dimensions friends' pressure and social costs. General tendency to respond to social pressure was positively associated with the dimensions of friends' pressure and social costs, and negatively associated with shared commitment to safe driving. Gender differences were also found, with men scoring higher than women on friends’ pressure, and lower than women on shared commitment to safe driving. The SDCaF can serve as a research tool, as well as a diagnostic instrument for detecting susceptibility to reckless driving among young drivers, thereby aiding in the design of targeted educational and intervention programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-85
Number of pages8
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - Jan 2018

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


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