Conference papers

Title: Young Driver Focus 2015 (conference)

Organisation: Road Safety GB & FirstCar
Date uploaded: 29th April 2015
Date published/launched: April 2015

This conference, held on 15 April 2015, comprised four sessions covering: young driver research & interventions; technology and telematics; driver training; and an expert panel discussion. All of the presentations are available for download from the conference website and a summary of outcomes/key actions is detailed below.

• Behaviour change techniques should be incorporated into road safety interventions.
• Technology (including telematics) is a potential road safety game changer.
• You don’t always have to do something just because you feel you should: it is possible to do more harm than good with an intervention.
• “You cannot do two things at once, if one of them is driving”.
• Parents and others should be encouraged to positively influence young people from an early age with regard to driving.

• The new Government (post-election) should reconsider the introduction of a Graduated Driver Licencing (GDL) scheme.
• The learning to drive process/experience needs to be more closely aligned to driving in ‘the real world’.
• More research/evidence is needed to ensure interventions are successful in the future.


Liz Box, RAC Foundation: young people’s travel habits
• Driving mileage by young people is on a downward trend (-30%) as is car passenger
travel (-25%)
• Reasons: staying in education longer/entering employment later/delayed transition to
• This changing world of young drivers has implications for insurance, telematics and road

Professor Stephen Stradling, Edinburgh Napier University: Behavioural change
techniques (BCTs)

• Typically, only a small sub-set of BCTs are currently being used in road safety
interventions; interventions based solely on increasing perceptions of risk are unlikely to be effective.
• To achieve long-lasting change more BCTs need to be deployed (e.g. monitoring change,
supporting change, agreeing change, rewarding change and feeling good about changing).
• Slide 12 of presentation suggests a process for developing road safety interventions
(identify problem/identify target behaviour/review evidence base/develop & then pilot
intervention/adjust & refine/run intervention/evaluate short & long term impact)

Michael McDonnell, Road Safety Scotland: Lifelong learning
• Early intervention with road safety messages is essential…attempting to change young
road users’ opinions once they have reached driving age is extremely challenging.
• A parent’s driving style is likely to predict a child’s driving style, but some parents don’t believe their children are aware of their driving, and feel that teaching them good driving habits can wait until their teens.

• Children are powerful agents for behaviour change (primal need to protect children is a powerful human instinct): “Every time you get behind the wheel with your children present, you’re giving them a driving lesson which could save their lives in future”.

Dan Campsall/Tanya Fosdick, Road Safety Analysis: evidence, engagement & evaluation
• Developed the UK's first road safety intervention based the 'COM-B behaviour change
• Utilised the Behaviour Change Wheel – a synthesis of 19 behaviour change frameworks
developed by University College London.
• Even modest levels of ‘interruption marketing’ can deliver measurable improvements in
behavioural intentions; interruption events are difficult but not impossible to evaluate.

Richard King, ingenie: telematics
• Young people believe telematics makes then a better driver; 70% of ingenie (black box) customers see premiums reduce for good driving, and more than 90% of drivers check the feedback they are given.
• One in eight of ingenie's drivers have a crash in the first 12 months, compared with one in five overall; ingenie’s best drivers have a crash frequency of around 10% and the worst around 40%.
• ingenie provides counseling for the worst drivers through its driver behaviour unit which comprises young people who have a firm but fair conversation with their peers.
• Telematics is here to stay – driving instructors need to understand how the product works and educate their students about it.

Ian Lancaster, twentyci: effective digital communication
• Young driver education can be digitized.
• Data is key to sustainable digital engagement.
• There are opportunities for seamless evaluation.

Ian Edwards, eDriving Solutions: driver training and the real world
• Skills transfer – the closer driver training is to 'the real world' the more likely the skills acquired will transfer.
• Under the current training regime learners never drive under time pressure, instructors don't distract learners (but future passengers will), neither do they experience peer pressure or fatigue – all of these are not practiced/experienced pre-test.
• Learners must be encouraged to think about difficult situations they will encounter in the future, and rehearse them and develop a mental template or plan to deliver a positive outcome (pledging is one technique that can be deployed).
• Training needs to be focused much more on future application, rather than the test itself.

Dr Shaun Helman, TRL: distraction in the context of road safety
• Distraction: "a thing that prevents someone from concentrating on something else". Often used in road safety context, with little consideration for the precise concept it is meaning to convey.
• People cannot multitask effectively – if you get people to do more than one thing at a time the thinking time doesn't overlap. "You cannot do two things at once, if one of them is driving." All drivers are affected by distraction – not just young drivers.
• Education and training has a poor track record in terms of impacting on road safety
outcomes. It's not just about telling people something is bad, and they should not do it; different BCTs (behavioural change techniques) are effective for different situations.
• ‘Doing something’ (interventions) is not always preferable – there can be undesired
effects/unintended consequences. There are plenty of psychological mechanisms by which
harm can be done.

Mawuli Ladzekpo, Roadio: technology and driver training
• Historically the driver training process has been very ‘pen and paper’ based – but this is changing.
• Technology is making inroads in the driver training process, and in some cases is now at the heart of the learning to drive experience.
• Looking forward: will Governments keep pace with technology? Will technology make
roads safer?

For more information contact:
Nick Rawlings, Road Safety GB
T: 01379 650112

Downloads and resources:
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