The young male driving problem: Relationship between Safe Driving Climate among Friends, Peer Pressure and Driving Styles

Jose Luis Padilla, Nuria Sánchez, Pablo Doncel, M. Carmen Navarro-González, Orit Taubman – Ben-Ari, Candida Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Young people are almost twice as likely to die in traffic crashes than are middle aged people (ages 40 to 60). It remains crucial to assess what factors catalyse young people's non-adaptive driving behaviours. In this study, we adapted the SDCaF (Safe Driving Climate among Friends) and RPI (Resistance to Peer Influence) scales to the driving context in Spain, and measured their relationship with the Driving Styles (DS) of young Spanish drivers (using the Spanish version of the Multidimensional Driving Styles Inventory, MDSI). A sample of young Spanish drivers (n = 459; age 18–25) completed an online questionnaire comprised of the Spanish versions of the SDCaF, RPI and MDSI scales, sociodemographic variables, driving habits and history. Evidence of the factorial structure of the Spanish version of the SDCaF scale coincides with those of the original version: the tetra-factorial model of the SDCaF scale obtained adequate values for the adjustment indices of the 4 factors; 2 are maladaptive (Peer pressure and Cost of driving with others) and 2 adaptive (Communication on traffic issues and Commitment to safe driving). The estimated reliability of the SDCaF scale reached acceptable values above (α ordinal greater than 0.80) except for the Communication factor (α = 0.76). Furthermore, evidence of the structure of the Spanish version of the RPI scale coincides with that of the original version, unifactorial model. The estimated reliability of the RPI scale reached acceptable values (α ordinal = 0.81). Most of the SDCaF's relationships with RPI and MDSI measures were as theoretically expected. The MDSI's maladaptive DS (Reckless, Aggressive and Distracted) correlated positively with the SDCaF's factors of Peer Pressure and Cost for driving with friends. The opposite occurred for the MDSI's adaptive DS (Careful and Stress Reduction). SDCaF Pressure and Cost factors correlated negatively with Resistance to Peer Pressure, whereas SDCaF Communication and Commitment factors correlated positively. We found clear differences by sex: Scores were higher on the Pressure factor when the driver was a man, when the passengers were men and when driving to a party. On the other hand, the scores were higher in the Communication and Commitment factors when the driver was a woman, the passengers were women and when driving somewhere other than a party. In conclusion, we obtained quality translated instruments and provided support for their connection with maladaptive driving to evaluate the reckless driving of young people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-156
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


“We would like to thank the Spanish drivers who volunteered for the tests and the reviewers who were asked to evaluate this ms., including Dario Bard. This research has been supported by the State Research Agency (SRA) (MCIN/AEI/) (PID2020-113978RB-I00 and PDC2021-12944-I00), Spain and European Regional Fund “ERDF” A way of making Europe”, by the Junta de Andalucía I + D + I Programa Operativo FEDER Andalucía (P20_00338, A-SEJ-114-UGR20 & PYC20 RE 022 UGR), Spain, and by the Plan Nacional de Drogas (Ministerio de Sanidad), PND-020-019. The study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation were carried out independently of the funding bodies, as were the writing of the experiment and the decision to seek publication.”

FundersFunder number
European Regional Fund
Junta de Andalucía I + D + I Programa Operativo FEDERPND-020-019, A-SEJ-114-UGR20, P20_00338, PYC20 RE 022 UGR
State Research Agency
Society for Research on AdolescencePDC2021-12944-I00, PID2020-113978RB-I00
European Regional Development Fund


    • Driving styles
    • Motorcyclists
    • Offspring drivers
    • Peer pressure
    • Road safety
    • Validation
    • Young drivers


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