• Young adult novice drivers represent a key at-risk cohort for alcohol-related road fatalities. Little research has investigated the value perceptions of responsible drivers as compared to their risk-taking counterparts. Addressing the value-perception gap, this qualitative research integrates identity theory and value expectancy theory to analyse the hedonic aspects and reward benefits of young adult drink-driving behaviour.

  • The study identified three categories of young adult drink-drivers: under-the-limit, borderline and extreme. Motivation drink-drive was influenced by perceptions of driving as a right versus a privilege; fear versus fatalistic attitude of drink-driving consequences and drink-driving as a connection for escape versus utilitarian activity. Future prevention strategies for at-risk drink-drivers must be relevant, convincing and consider the dynamic and changing landscape young adults inhabit.

Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.