Research Papers

YouTube high risk driving videos: What are the effects on young male drivers?

Version 1
Date added June 26, 2017
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Category 2017 CARSP XXVII Toronto
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 3A
Author/Auteur Evelyn Vingilis
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation

Slidedeck Presentation Only (no paper submitted)



Entry of key words reflective of high risk driving behaviours into the YouTube website yields millions of videos. For example, "street racing" yields about 33,100,000 results on the YouTube website (as of April 30, 2015) (Vingilis et al., under review). Of the first 10 featured YouTube street racing videos, only one is on a race track while the other nine are videos of street racing on public roads, often on highways among traffic. The average number of views per site listed for these 10 sites is 787,677 and percentage of "likes" for the response category is 95.8% (Vingilis et al., under review). YouTube also features videos of negative consequences of high risk driving such as traffic offences or collisions. For example, for street racing deaths (8,590,000 results), the average number of views per site listed for the first 10 sites is 32,904 and percentage of "likes" is 71.1% (as of April 30, 2015) (Vingilis et al., under review). Who watches, shares and makes YouTube videos? Could these types of videos encourage, discourage or not affect high risk driving behaviours? To interview young men to determine: (i) if they watch and share YouTube videos, in particular high risk driving videos, and (ii) what effects high risk driving videos have on them (either positive or negative, on attitudes, arousal, emotions and driving behaviours) and whether YouTube videos of negative consequences (violations, collisions, injuries) discourage high risk driving. Three focus groups were conducted in the London, Toronto and Ottawa regions with males between the ages of 18-30 using maximum variation sampling. The first hour focussed on amount of YouTube viewing and sharing generally and specifically of automotive and high risk driving videos, video production and uploading and whether any YouTube videos encouraged/discouraged personal production and uploading of videos. The second hour focussed on perceptions and feelings regarding two YouTube video clips: one of stunt drivers on motorcycles and a second of a stunt motorcyclist getting caught by police. A total of 22 men participated in the focus groups. Our first step for coding has been to generate initial codes, that is, coding content of the data systematically across the full data set (3 focus groups) and collating data relevant to each code. Currently we are engaging in the second level of analysis, thematic analysis to search for and identify common threads, followed by third level of analysis of overarching themes. Preliminary analysis revealed that men view YouTube anywhere from less than once a month to 40 hours per week with the majority reporting watching some automobile-related videos. Reaction to the shown video clips were bimodal, with men perceiving the driving as dangerous but also skilled. The presentation will provide a more detailed analysis of the overarching themes presented in the data in relation to the aims stated above. Conclusions will be discussed once results and discussion is completed.

Evelyn Vingilis