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Men, driving culture and speed.

Redshaw, S


ACRS conference 2007

Differences in attitude between young men and women in responses to a safety ad will be explored as aspects of the culture of driving young people are immersed in as they enter the driving community. The safety advertisement discussed here was shown in seven focus groups with 47 young people aged 18-25 years, 24 male and 23 female, held in various locations in New South Wales, including Western Sydney, the inner Sydney city area and the Bathurst region, a rural area west of Sydney. Young men in the study showed less concern with speeding and more concern with distraction while the young women considered speed an issue in itself. Young men also showed an apparent confidence in their own ability to the extent that they did not tend to think their driving could harm others whereas the women expressed more awareness that their driving could be harmful and they needed to be cautious. The implications of these views will be discussed. Attitudes can produce habits of practice but are also often about something controversial and unsettled or ambiguous. The extent to which attitudes can be considered as cultural in the context of a cultural practice such as driving and the impact this has on how a social issue such as vehicle speed is dealt with, are considered.