Chicken is For the Birds: Changing Deadly Driving Behaviors of Young Qatari Men

Project: Research project

Project Details


Motor vehicle collisions (MVC) in Qatar are at epidemic rates and expected to continue to rise to 220,000 per year by 2015 (ElGhanem, 2012). The fatalities and economic costs associated with traffic accidents are high in Qatar, with one out of eight deaths attributed to MVCs according to some estimates (The Peninsula, 2013) and is as high as 18% according to others (MOI, 2012) and estimates of the economic impact to the GDP are about 2.73 billion USD (Nehlawi, 2013). While there are many causes of MVCs in Qatar, over half of the accidents involve drivers with little driving experience (ElGhanem, 2012). Because of societal constraints for young women, young drivers in Qatar tend to be mostly male. These young male drivers lack experience, often drive large, powerful cars, and may engage in risky behaviors such as speeding, playing high speed games, and other thrill-seeking practices. Though few real scientific studies have been undertaken, those that are released are covered widely in the local press, indicating this is a pressing issue for Qatar residents. Qatari male youth are much more likely to stunt drive as compared to expatriate youth (Doha News, 2012). The costs to families in Qatar are high, with young people’s lives ending tragically or suffering debilitating injuries (ElGhanem, 2012). Changing the driving attitudes of young Qatari men is the objective of our study. It uses a tailored message campaign developed from research on the target audience. We will conduct an in-depth formative research study with young Qatari men, identifying their driving beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. Using the results from the formative research, we will plan and shoot a 7-10 minute persuasive documentary targeting the key beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that emerge. Such a tailored message is critical to success, as we must adapt it to the particular attitude structures of the audience for it to succeed. We will workshop the documentary with the target audience, making necessary changes to increase its persuasive effectiveness. We will then screen it to audiences in Qatar as well as post it online and spread the link via social media. We will conduct evaluation research to assess the film’s influence on beliefs, attitudes and behavioral intentions.
Effective start/end date9/1/143/31/16


  • Qatar National Research Fund (UREP 16-087-3-019)


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