Title: Save Drive Stay Alive Evaluation Greater Manchester & Surrey

Organisation: Greater Manchester FRS, Surrey FRS & Road Safety Analysis
Date uploaded: 12th December 2017
Date published/launched: February 2017

‘Safe Drive Stay Alive’ (SDSA) is a series of emotionally-impactive live educational events aiming to reduce road casualties in young people, by increasing understanding of road risk and challenging unsafe attitudes and behaviour. SDSA was delivered in both Surrey and Greater Manchester (GM) in 2015, using similar approaches and materials. This independent evaluation measures these two schemes against their stated aims and objectives.

The evaluation has provided a unique insight into the efficacy of SDSA through the employment of large sample sizes; consistent monitoring over time; the use of a comparison group; and utilising an adolescent-based behaviour change model to measure against. Many evaluations of young and pre-driver education do not employ all or most of these elements.

The findings provide some positive results. SDSA reduced the willingness of respondents to engage in certain risky driving behaviours:
• To use a mobile while driving
• To speed on motorways
• To speed on rural roads

It reduced the perceived likelihood of their friends to:
• Use a mobile while driving
• Speed on motorways
• Speed on rural roads
• Speed in towns
• Drink and drive

It reduced the perceived approval of their friends if the respondents:
• Exceeded the speed limit on motorways
• Exceeded the speed limit on rural roads
• Exceeded the speed limit in towns

The respondents’ attitudes towards the following statements improved:
• If I am driving, I can handle a drink or two and still be safe
• If I drove sensibly, my friends would make fun of me

The results related to friends are important as subjective norms are thought to influence both behavioural willingness and behavioural intentions in the PWM. The improvements in social norms might suggest that they thought their friends had also been affected by the intervention (if they attended) and/or they no longer wanted their friends to be the types of people who would engage in these behaviours. Lastly, reporting friends’ behaviours is often a reflection of the behaviour of the respondents themselves and therefore this could indicate a positive movement in their own disapproval and likelihood.

There were some behaviours where willingness to engage in the behaviour did not reduce. These include taking drugs or alcohol and driving, both of which had particularly low levels of willingness at the baseline stage. Additionally, willingness to speed in towns or not wear a seatbelt did not improve after SDSA by more than the comparison group.
There were also some behaviours related to social norms (friends’ likelihood and approval), including taking drugs and driving or not wearing a seatbelt, which did not improve. These also had low levels at the baseline stage.

Attitudes towards certain behaviours did not improve to a statistically significant extent after SDSA. These included passenger related behaviours, such as challenging irresponsible behaviour; taking lifts from drink or drug drivers; understanding their responsibilities as a passenger; and seatbelt wearing. The strong driver focus in SDSA could mean that messages about passenger responsibility are not absorbed.

Lastly, the perceived vulnerability of respondents, where they feel more likely to be involved in a collision if they engage in risky behaviours, did not increase after SDSA. To increase vulnerability, highlighting the alternative consequences of risky behaviour could be effective, such as loss of freedom and mobility and the resulting social stigma. In addition to increasing perceived vulnerability, perceived efficacy could be explored. Credible coping mechanisms could be provided (either through SDSA itself or follow up lessons), with support to show attendees that they are capable of engaging in the safe behaviour.

The respondents, in general, provided positive feedback to SDSA 12 months after attendance. Over two-thirds thought that they had benefitted from attending SDSA. Whilst only one-sixth of Surrey’s respondents reported that they still had their copy of the Young Drivers’ Guide, this could be seen as positive 12 months after receiving it, especially as the 3-month evaluation revealed issues with distribution of the Guide.

It is recommended that consideration be given to:
• Increasing the passenger-related content
• Exploring ways to increase vulnerability through highlighting other consequences of risky behaviour
• Exploring ways to incorporate credible coping mechanisms into the intervention and ensure that the attendees believe they can engage in safe behaviours
• Promote the follow-up lessons to support SDSA
• Evaluate the follow-up lessons

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