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Social Influences on Risky Driving Behaviors Among Young Drivers in Oman

Al Reesi.H, , Armstrong, K, Edwards, J, Al Manin, A, Davey, J (Peer reviewed)

Young Drivers

ARSC conference 2015

Young drivers represent approximately 20% of the Omani population, yet account for over one third of crash injuries and fatalities on Oman's roads. Internationally, research has demonstrated that social influences play an important role within young driver safety, however, there is little research examining this within Arab gulf countries. This study sought to explore young driver behaviour using Akers' social learning theory. A self-report survey was conducted by 1319 (72.9% Male and 27.1% female) young drivers aged 17-25 years. A hierarchical regression model was used to investigate the contribution of social learning variables (norms and behaviour of significant others, personal attitudes towards risky behaviour, imitation of significant others, beliefs about the rewards and punishments offered by risky behaviour), socio-demographic characteristics (age and gender), driving experience (initial training, time driving and previous driving without supervision) and sensitivity to rewards and punishments upon the self-reported risky driving behaviours of young drivers. It was found that 39.6% of the young drivers reported that they have been involved in at least one crash since the issuance of their driving licence and they were considered 'at fault' in 60.7% of these crashes. The hierarchical multiple regression models revealed that socio-demographic characteristics and driving experience alone explained 13.7% of the variance in risky driving behaviour. By introducing social learning factors into the model a further 37.0% of variance was explained. Finally, 7.9% of the variance in risky behaviour could be explained by including individual sensitivity to rewards and punishments. These findings and the implications are discussed