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Half of young drivers speeding, talking on cell phones
Or Yarok: 38 young drivers killed in 2013, up from 18 in 2012; only 16% believe that not wearing a seatbelt is dangerous.
Roughly every other young Israeli driver exhibits dangerous behaviors at the wheel, a survey by traffic safety organization Or Yarok reported on Tuesday.

In light of data indicating that 38 young drivers – those between ages 17 and 24 – died in road accidents in 2013, as opposed to 18 in 2012, Or Yarok conducted a survey regarding the driving practices of more than 3,000 of the nation’s young people.

The results indicated that approximately one in every two young drivers admits to occasionally speeding, talking on a cellphone without a hands-free device and failing to give way to pedestrians.

“The country cannot shirk its responsibility in terms of traffic accidents, and troubling data about the involvement of young drivers in road accidents demands a combination of forces between the Transportation and Education ministries,” Or Yarok CEO Shmuel Aboav said.

Fifty percent of respondents admitted to sometimes driving too fast, 49% admitted to sometimes talking on the phone while driving – without a hands-free device – and 47% said they sometimes neglect to give the right of way to pedestrians.

Only 16% of young people indicated that they believe that not wearing a seatbelt is dangerous, while only 26% said they believe that talking on a cellphone behind the wheel without a proper headset is hazardous.

In addition, only 24% of respondents indicated that they believe failing to yield to pedestrians is dangerous, the report said.

“We must increase the education and information among young people, within the framework of school, about the danger of speeding and talking on a phone without a headset,” Aboav said. “Education and implementation of positive messages on the subject of road safety at a young age will bear fruit at a later age.”

Or Yarok questioned 3,146 young people in 24 communities, by means of Or Yarok’s youth movement.
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