Israeli-Arabs drive badly as 'resistance'

By Nathan Jeffay, August 4, 2011

Arabs tend to drive more dangerously than Jews in Israel, violating regulations as an outlet for their disdain for the state, according to new research.

A study commissioned by the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) found that Arab drivers are 1.6 times more likely to be involved in accidents than Jewish drivers.

The team of researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa surveyed some 1,200 Arab drivers and concluded that Arabs are prone to drive dangerously because economic and social problems distract them, lower their concentration and make them angry, causing them to drive faster and more aggressively.

Roni Factor, one of the researchers, said of Israeli Arabs: "Due to their social standing they use what you can call 'everyday resistance' to express dissatisfaction. One of these ways is disobeying traffic laws. When they see a stop sign, as a minority, it means that it's not my stop sign but the stop sign of the government."

Dr Factor stressed that the research was an analytical exercise which can help the NRSA run effective safety campaigns for the Arab sector, and was in no way an attempt to pin blame for road accidents on Arabs. He added that it offers a thesis that may be correct elsewhere in the world, as it is common in many countries for minorities to have higher than normal rates of accidents.

Last updated: 1:26pm, August 4 2011