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Young People, Dangerous Driving and Car Culture

NCJ Number
Youth Studies Australia Volume: 26 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2007 Pages: 28-35
Hannah Graham; Rob White
Date Published
September 2007
8 pages
This paper looks at the perceptions of danger associated with hooning (dangerous driving behavior) and other aspects of car culture and explores the purposes that these activities play in the lives of young men.
The simplistic view of what constitutes “bad driving” gives a false impression of the fact that youth driving culture is complex in nature and comprises multiple dimensions and definitions of dangerousness. Indeed, there are cases when certain types of dangerous driving behavior by young people or honing might well be considered safer than driving on main roads at rush hour. Dangerous driving is not youth-specific; it is an issue for drivers of all ages. Problems such as road rage are equally as concerning as hooning, and are more likely to involve parents. Several States in Australia have enacted anti-hooning legislation. A typical anti-hooning law describes the offense as “the use of a vehicle in an irresponsible and dangerous manner in public places.” This paper reviews relevant Australian research and literature on different aspects of youth driving culture. The concern is to raise questions about dominant stereotypes regarding the youthful driver, to consider car culture in its widest sense, and to distinguish the notion of (intentional) risk-taking and dangerous driving from the idea that young people are somehow inherently dangerous drivers. This paper contends that there are multiple dimensions to young people and car culture, which are comprised of various types of driving behavior and social events, including street machining, cruising, and hooning. References