A social cognitive investigation of drinking and driving among young males in Pietermaritzburg.
Responding to a body of literature that identifies road crashes caused by drinking and driving as a serious social and economic issue in South Africa, this research aims to investigate behaviour and beliefs relating to drinking and driving among young males in the Pietermaritzburg area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This sampling criterion emanates from the identification of this group as an at-risk demographic for alcohol-related road accidents and fatalities. Underpinned by Albert Bandura’s Social-Cognitive Theory, which explores the reciprocal relationship between beliefs, behaviour and environment to explain behaviour, the research surveyed 190 young males between the ages of 18 and 35 years that self-identify as drunk drivers. The research focused on determining and describing the constraining and enabling factors contributing to drinking and driving among the group. The findings explore the high frequency of drinking and driving in the sample which is found to be, to varying degrees, informed by their relationship to their family, peer groups and social context. The research also uncovers a concerning trend of overestimating driving ability when drunk. It further identifies a lack of perceived risk relating to law enforcement.