Young men should drive alone, study suggests

Report released this week shows peer pressure can often cause young men to act rashly.

Modiin accident 224.88 (photo credit: Judea and Samaria Rescue Services)
Modiin accident 224.88
(photo credit: Judea and Samaria Rescue Services)
More evidence that peer pressure can often drive young men to act rashly was contained in a study released this week that says it is a major factor behind road accidents. The study, carried out by Dr. Revital Sela-Shayovitz on behalf of the Tel Aviv-based MOFET institute, found that when a young male driver senses he is under peer pressure from friends in the car, he is more likely to drive under the influence of alcohol, take risks and engage in dangerous driving. Using 1,100 young male drivers aged 17-and-a-half to 25 as a sample, the study found that youths who were especially sensitive to peer pressure were more likely to be involved in serious accidents resulting in injuries. "Most accidents (54.1 percent) took place when friends of the young driver were in the vehicle, compared to a smaller percentage of accidents (22.4%) which took place without their presence," a press release containing the study's conclusions said. Youths prone to peer pressure were also less likely to buckle their seat belts and more likely to drive at unreasonable speeds, fail to yield, and illegally overtake cars in front them. "The study's results show that male drivers perceive the peer pressure of their friends far more acutely than driving," the study said, adding that men were involved in twice as many accidents as female drivers. "We've been putting this knowledge into practice for a while now," Traffic Police spokesman Supt. Doron Ben-Amo said, responding to the survey. "New drivers can't drive with more than two people in the car for a period of several months - any more than that, and an adult supervisor must also accompany the driver." "We support the findings of the study. The law is aimed at reducing the number of distractions to young drivers, like talking or music, and encourages them to focus on the road," Ben-Amo said.