Evaluation

Title: Connecting with young drivers

Organisation: Road Safety GB & Stennik
Date uploaded: 7th July 2010
Date published/launched: Pre 2009

This study looks at how young people view their safety on the roads and identifies what they perceive to be the greatest dangers. It also tested a series of advertising concepts that could form the basis of a publicity campaign targeting young drivers.

EvaluatedFree
Connecting with young people to remind them of the risks they face on the roads; persuading young drivers and their passengers to minimise these risks; and ultimately, reducing crashes and casualties among this highly vulnerable group of road users.

These are among the toughest challenges faced by Britain's road safety professionals. This study looks at how young people view their safety on the roads, and identifies what they perceive to be the greatest dangers. The study tested a series of advertising concepts that could form the basis of a publicity campaign specifically targeting this age group and identifies what worked, and what didn't.

Connecting with young people to remind them of the risks and dangers they face on the roads; persuading young drivers and their passengers to drive and behave in a fashion likely to minimise these risks; and ultimately, playing a part in reducing crashes and casualties among this highly vulnerable group of road users. These are among the toughest challenges faced by Britain's road safety professionals.

This study looks at how young people view their safety on the roads, and identifies what they perceive to be the greatest dangers they face.

Perhaps even more usefully for road safety officers, the study tested a series of advertising concepts that could form the basis of a publicity campaign specifically targeting this age group. This report explains the thinking behind the concepts and identifies what worked, and what didn't.

The intention was to produce ‘actionable research’ - a study that road safety professionals can use when developing campaigns and resources for use on the ground at local or regional level.

The research was carried out in the period April-August 2007 and key issues identified included:
• Young drivers find the prospect of dying less frightening than being left brain damaged and requiring 24/7 care.

• They are more worried about seriously injuring or killing a passenger than hurting themselves.

• Although young drivers acknowledge speed as a major contributory factor in many crashes, they also felt that inattention is often just as important. Over half of respondents stated that paying more attention was the main way they could reduce their personal risk of having an accident. With the number of 'in-car gadgets' such as iPods, Sat-Nav and mobile phones on the increase - and the distraction of passengers and 'people watching' - many young people are not giving driving the level of attention it requires.

• Risk taking is perceived as a normal part of driving for this age group and the potential consequences are rarely considered. The level of risk appears to escalate when driving in convoy with friends and when carrying passengers. 59% said they are more likely to take a risk when driving in convoy with friends, and 26% said their mates egg them on to drive more quickly or to take a risk. This is evident in both sexes - it is no longer predominantly a male trait.

• There is considerable evidence indicating that the drink drive message is failing with 17-20 year olds. Driving the next morning while over the drink drive limit is widespread (52% admitted to this) and does not have the same social stigma as driving straight after a drink.

• There is a natural tendency for young drivers to look for an excuse - a reason why a situation could not happen to them. When thinking about an accident scenario multiple factors nearly always come into play - for example road conditions or the behaviour of other drivers. With this target audience, a successful campaign must reduce the chance of the reader thinking: 'That could never happen to me', or 'That was not my fault'.

For more information contact:
Nick Rawlings
T: 01379 650112

Downloads and resources:
External links: