The sex disparity in risky driving: A survey of Colombian young drivers

Objective: The overrepresentation of young drivers in poor road safety outcomes has long been recognized as a global road safety issue. In addition, the overrepresentation of males in crash statistics has been recognized as a pervasive young driver problem. Though progress in road safety evidenced as a stabilization and/or reduction in poor road safety outcomes has been made in developed nations, less-developed nations contribute the greatest road safety trauma, and developing nations such as Colombia continue to experience increasing trends in fatality rates. The aim of the research was to explore sex differences in self-reported risky driving behaviors of young drivers, including the associations with crash involvement, in a sample of young drivers attending university in Colombia.

Methods: The Spanish version of the Behaviour of Young Novice Drivers Scale (BYNDS-Sp) was applied in an online survey to a sample of 392 students (225 males) aged 16–24 years attending a major university. Appropriate comparative statistics and logistic regression modeling were used when analyzing the data.

Results: Males reported consistently more risky driving behaviors, with approximately one quarter of all participants reporting risky driving exposure. Males reported greater crash involvement, with violations such as speeding associated with crash involvement for both males and females.

Conclusion: Young drivers in Colombia appear to engage in the same risky driving behaviors as young drivers in developed nations. In addition, young male drivers in Colombia reported greater engagement in risky driving behaviors than young female drivers, a finding consistent with the behaviors of young male drivers in developed nations. As such, the research findings suggest that general interventions such as education, engineering, and enforcement should target transient rule violations such as speeding and using a handheld mobile phone while driving for young drivers in Colombia. Future research should investigate how these interventions could be tailored specifically for the Colombian cultural context, including how their effects can be evaluated, prior to implementation.