Perceptions, intentions and behavioral norms that affect pre-license driving among Arab youth in Israel

Anat Gesser-Edelsburg, Mina Zemach, Tsippy Lotan, Wafa Elias, Einat Grimberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examines reported pre-license driving among youth from the population of Arab citizens of Israel. The purpose of the present study is to examine which sociodemographic variables, attitudes and perceptions about safe driving and individual and societal behavioral norms are associated with pre-license driving. The research distinguished between the factors that actually contribute to pre-license driving (reported behavior, peer norms, gender and parents' messages) and the factors that explain the intention (parental authority, social norms, parents' messages and fear of road crashes). Even though there was a significant partial overlap (84%) between those who intend to drive without a license and those who reported driving without a license, the main factors that distinguish pre-license driving groups are different from the factors that distinguish the intention to drive before receiving a license. What is unique about the findings is the identification of the context in which social norms are influential and that in which parental authority is influential. The study indicated that in the case of pre-license driving, the main motivating factor is subjective norms, whereas in the case of expecting to drive without a license, the main motivating factor is the interaction between parental authority and the messages that parents convey. While actual behavior pertains to the behavioral level, we argue that intended behavior pertains to the cognitive level. At this level, rational considerations arise, such as fear of parental punishment and fear of accidents. These considerations compete with the influence of friends and their norms, and may outweigh them. The findings suggest that it is important to safeguard youth against the influence of peer pressure as early as the stage of behavioral intentions. Follow-up studies can simulate situations of pre-license driving due to social pressure and identify the factors that might affect young people's decision-making. Moreover, providing parents with training before the accompaniment period is highly recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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