Israel is a small country, but you wouldn’t know it by the number of hours Israelis spend on the road. According to the findings of a study released Thursday by road safety advocacy group, Or Yarok, the average Israeli driver spends 577 hours a year – which adds up to more than three weeks – behind the wheel..

Or Yarok’s study surveyed 500 Israeli Jewish adults on their driving and walking practices and discovered that while women spent 1.4 hours a day driving (442 hours a year), men spent 2.2 hours a day (660 hours a year) behind the wheel.

The study also found that younger people tended to spend more time driving than older people, with those aged 18-34 driving 624 hours a year and those 35 and above driving only 556 hours a year.

The survey indicated that the more religious someone is, the less time they will spend driving.

People who described themselves as religious or haredi, reported an average of 499 hours a year spent driving, people who described themselves as traditional reported an average of 525 hours a year spent driving and those who described themselves as secular reported 614 hours a year on the road.

The survey also examined people’s driving habits in relation to their socio-economic level and discovered that people who reported that they were below the national average drove 640 hours a year while people who reported that they were above average spent 546 hours a year on the road.

A geographic breakdown of the numbers shows that residents of the Jerusalem region spend the most time on the road (712 hours per year), followed by residents of the north (603), the south (582), the Sharon region (562) and the center (520).

With regard to walking, the survey revealed that women spend more hours a year walking than men do, 510 and 400 hours respectively.

People who live in the north reported spending 510 hours a year walking compared to 473 hours in the center and the southern regions and only 400 hours in Jerusalem and the Sharon regions.

The study also reported that higher education correlates to less time spent walking. The survey found that people with up to 12 years of learning spent 510 hours a year walking, while those with some post high school education spent 437 hours a year walking and those with an academic education spent only 400 hours a year walking.

The study also found that religious people spent less time walking than non-religious and that young people walk more than older people.

“Studies from Israel and other countries point to the fact that while in the not-too-distant past, walking was an acceptable means of getting around, today the trend is diminishing and many prefer to get around by car, even if it is only short distances,” said Or Yarok director-general The study also found that younger people tended to spend more time driving than older people, with those aged 18-34 driving 624 hours a year and those 35 and above driving only 556 hours a year.

The survey indicated that the more religious someone is, the less time they will spend driving.

People who described themselves as religious or haredi, reported an average of 499 hours a year spent driving, people who described themselves as traditional reported an average of 525 hours a year spent driving and those who described themselves as secular reported 614 hours a year on the road.

The survey also examined people’s driving habits in relation to their socio-economic level and discovered that people who reported that they were below the national average drove 640 hours a year while people who reported that they were above average spent 546 hours a year on the road.

A geographic breakdown of the numbers shows that residents of the Jerusalem region spend the most time on the road (712 hours per year), followed by residents of the north (603), the south (582), the Sharon region (562) and the center (520).

With regard to walking, the survey revealed that women spend more hours a year walking than men do, 510 and 400 hours respectively.

People who live in the north reported spending 510 hours a year walking compared to 473 hours in the center and the southern regions and only 400 hours in Jerusalem and the Sharon regions.

The study also reported that higher education correlates to less time spent walking. The survey found that people with up to 12 years of learning spent 510 hours a year walking, while those with some post high school education spent 437 hours a year walking and those with an academic education spent only 400 hours a year walking.

The study also found that religious people spent less time walking than non-religious and that young people walk more than older people.

“Studies from Israel and other countries point to the fact that while in the not-too-distant past, walking was an acceptable means of getting around, today the trend is diminishing and many prefer to get around by car, even if it is only short distances,” said Or Yarok director-general Shmuel Abuav.

“Our survey reveals a very problematic situation, where Israeli drivers spends many hours behind the wheel. One of the obvious reasons for this is the unattractiveness of public transportation, which leads many to prefer their private vehicles over buses. This causes heavy traffic on the roads and increases the likelihood of accidents taking place.

“The state must increase investment in public transportation and in creating public transportation only lanes as well as increase enforcement against private vehicles using these lanes. These actions will improve the attractiveness of public transportation and bring about a change for the good,” said Abuav.

“Our survey reveals a very problematic situation, where Israeli drivers spends many hours behind the wheel. One of the obvious reasons for this is the unattractiveness of public transportation, which leads many to prefer their private vehicles over buses. This causes heavy traffic on the roads and increases the likelihood of accidents taking place.

“The state must increase investment in public transportation and in creating public transportation only lanes as well as increase enforcement against private vehicles using these lanes. These actions will improve the attractiveness of public transportation and bring about a change for the good,” said Abuav.

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