Ultraorthodox young drivers in Israel - Driving through cultural lenses

Noga Guggenheim, Orit Taubman - Ben-Ari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Abstract Research has paid little attention to driving and road safety in the ultraorthodox communities in Israel, in which perceptions on such issues display unique cultural characteristics, and may have long-term effects on traffic safety. This study attempts to gain insight into the attitudes and behaviors of the ultraorthodox young men road users in Israel with regard to driving and road safety, using a qualitative research method based on 42 face-to-face in-depth interviews with men from different ultraorthodox circles in different stages of life. The analysis reveals that the stringent cultural norms strongly influence road behavior, far beyond what is known about young novice drivers and their peers in general. For example, owning a license by young, single ultraorthodox students is seen as an offense against the ultraorthodox establishment compared to driving without a license, which is considered a one-time lapse. The findings indicate that unique cultural phenomena such as concealing the process of licensing, unlicensed driving and road interactions create a dangerous effect extending beyond the ultraorthodox neighborhoods. They also imply that road safety can be interpreted differently in diverse cultures, a fact which should be considered while planning safety intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number837
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
StatePublished - 27 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Israeli National Authority for Road Safety .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


  • Qualitative research method
  • Safety
  • Ultraorthodox Jews
  • Unlicensed drivers
  • Young drivers


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