African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Drinking and driving and other risk taking behaviors among university students in South Africa

N Phaswana-Mafuya, A Davids


This study assesses the relationship between drinking and driving and other risk taking behaviours among university students in Limpopo, South Africa aged 17 to 24 years old. A purposive sample of 111 undergraduate university student drivers participated in the study after they had consented to participate. More than 50% of the respondents were pedi-speaking Christian women residing in rural areas. A structured questionnaire was completed by respondents. The results demonstrate that young people engage in risk taking behaviours. The mean scores reveal that engagement in risk behaviour was higher among respondents who had never engaged in drinking and driving (mean score =4.91) than among those who had engaged in drinking and driving (mean score =3.82). However, the independent-samples test showed that the mean score difference between the two groups was not significant (p=. 098). The data reveal that traffic violations and drinking frequency scores were significantly positively correlated with DD, while attitude score was significantly negatively correlated DD. The data reveal that drinking frequency was positively significantly correlated with riding with someone who has been drinking while differential reinforcement was negatively significantly correlated with riding with someone who has been drinking. Logistic regression analysis showed that traffic violations were predictive of drinking and driving. Respondents who had traffic violations were approximately six times likely to DD. This implies that prevention programmes should be broad-based and consider drinking and drinking and driving within the larger context of drinking and driving-related risk taking behaviours and traffic safety in general.

Keywords: Drinking and driving, South Africa, risk behaviours and youth.

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