Driving dangerously: law, culture and driving habits in Iran

Banakar, R. and Nasrolahi Fard, S. 2012. Driving dangerously: law, culture and driving habits in Iran. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. 39 (2), pp. 241-257.

TitleDriving dangerously: law, culture and driving habits in Iran
AuthorsBanakar, R. and Nasrolahi Fard, S.
Abstract

Iran has the highest rate of road traffic accidents (RTAs) worldwide. Iranian studies of the growing levels of RTAs are often conducted by medical doctors, who view them in light of the increase in the production and ownership of cars and the changed lifestyle of many Iranians, and discuss them in terms of pathology, morbidity and epidemiology. This article argues that although the high levels of RTAs in Iran are new and reflective of the changing character of Iranian society, the habit of reckless driving is not. Using open and semi-structured interviews, it explores how Iranians describe their driving habits and experience RTAs. Placing the results of the interviews in the historical context of Iranian society, the article goes on to examine driving as a form of behaviour with legal and cultural dimensions indicative of how Iranians interact with each other and with the normative structures of the legal system, the state and society to create a form of social order. Being mediated through the use of automobiles, driving habits also throw light on how Iranians relate themselves to an aspect of modern technology. Thus, this study will treat Iranians' driving habits as an empirical manifestation of one aspect of their legal culture, which is mediated through the technology of the automobile.

JournalBritish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Journal citation39 (2), pp. 241-257
ISSN1353-0194
Year2012
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/13530194.2012.711039
Publication dates
Published2012

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