Conference papers

Title: Young Driver Focus 2015 (conference)

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

Free
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.

KEY OUTCOMES FOR ROAD SAFETY PROFESSIONALS AS IDENTIFIED BY DELEGATES IN THE POST-EVENT SURVEY
• 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.

KEY ISSUES FOR GOVERNMENT AS IDENTIFIED BY PRESENTERS AND DURING PANEL DISCUSSION SESSION
• 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.

SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS

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
adulthood.
• This changing world of young drivers has implications for insurance, telematics and road
safety.

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
model'.
• 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:
External links: