Teenage Driver Safety: The Australian Perspective Communicating with Teens 2009 International Symposium Sponsored by the University of Michigan’s M-CASTL August 20 th 2009 Michigan Center for Advancing Safe Transportation throughout the Lifespan
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Teenage Driver Safety: The Australian Perspective
Communicating with Teens
2009 International Symposium
Sponsored by the University of Michigan’s M-CASTL
August 20th 2009
Michigan Center for Advancing Safe Transportation throughout the Lifespan
Keynote address: Professor Mary Sheehan, CARRS-Q
Learner, Provisional and Open licence crash rates –extracted from Queensland Transport 2005
Proportion of male fatalities (17-25yr) by road user group, Australia 2008
All road users-79%
Road Deaths Australia Statistical Summary
Keys2Drive: Keys to a safer future
A national driver/trainer initiative by the Federal Government Transport Department. Program for learner drivers that provides a free lesson from a specially trained driving instructor for the learner driver and their supervisor. Instructors have special training and are registered as accredited trainers. Sponsored in each state and territory by the major insurance company.
Evaluation: Tasmania trial currently underway. Very difficult to evaluate. Is this program directed to the raising of standards of driver trainers?
Youth Drive Safe
Sponsored by a large construction company. 500 students in each high school get 5 hours of dedicated training and a dedicated car for the school.
No evaluation – exposure and encouragement to early driving may be a problem.
RACQ free2go(not NRMA Free2Go)
Novice Driver Coaching Program
Evaluation – the comprehensive experimental trial is due to commence.
ATSB, CR 222
ACT “Road Ready” program
Innovative and unique program in Australia since 2000
Evaluation mixed but marginally positive at 3+ years.
ACT Department of Urban Services (2004)
“RRISK: Reduce Risk Increase Student Knowledge”
A program with significant community involvement. The main intervention is a one day seminar for senior school students. Does have associated in-school activities. Primarily focused on alcohol and drug use protection safety.
Evaluated at three months and showed significant knowledge, attitude and self-reported behaviour change in protective driving and drinking.
“Youth and Road Trauma Forum”
Similar to RRISK but aims to reduce road fatality and injury rates.
The programme includes many components that are also used in stand alone interventions. It is typical of this sort of programme though this particular programme is remarkable in that it “is the only formal road safety programme that incorporates all emergency services as well as numerous health care providers and non-government organisations”
A typical programme*
A one-day programme held at an external venue and available to students from local/regional schools in grades 10,11 &12.
Wilson, Seggie & Morphett (2008)
No evaluation reported.
“Skills for Preventing Injury in Youth – SPIY”
Evaluates well at six month follow up with reduced self reported injuries and involvement in high risk situations. In particular significant and meaningful increase in bicycle helmet wearing and reduced cycling injuries.
Buckley, Sheehan & Chapman (2008)
Safe communities WHO initiatives
There has been a marked increase in large coordinated community and regional health promotion programmes aiming for accreditation as WHO Safe Communities
Many include a road safety component of the type noted in the discussion of the Youth and Road Trauma Forum.
No evaluation reported
Lennon et al. 2008
Buckley and Haworth (2008)
Reaching young males
Passenger safety messages
School program constraints
Negative and positive messages
Australia’s road safety media messages to young people have been based almost exclusively on fear and shock images.
This approach is also being used extensively in education programmes that fall outside the best practice models.
Growing research base critical of such messages on the grounds of ineffectiveness.
A major program of research into effects of advertising has made three important contributions to this debate :
Lewis, Watson and White 2008
Negative and positive messages: Effective messages
“Graphic photos I guess, like this can happen if you go drink driving, like crashing, you can actually kill someone, cause damage to yourself, financial losses.” Male, aged 19
“Some of those road safety ads on TV are quite graphic, they are very good.” Male, aged 30
Brisbane Magistrates’ Court, Brisbane 2009
Hurting self or others
2. High risk students
Those reporting the highest number of risk taking activities have double the number of hospitalised injuries.
Pickett, Schmidt and Boyce (2002)
Around 25% of young adolescents in a school population engage in behaviours that can lead to trauma and injury and can be considered to be of high risk.
Soole, Chapman, Sheehan, Siskind and Buckley (2007)
Established findings on “sensation seeking” and “optimism bias”
More recent exploration by educators and sociologists coming from outside the road safety profession:
Hydraulic masculinity: “Young males have a high level investment in cars as a medium for male admiration and the expression of competitiveness, power, control, technique, skill and aggression”
Walker, Butland & Connell (2000)
Combustion masculinity: “Young males identify driving skill with masculinity. Speeding and risk are part of the socially defined masculinity.”
“Road safety appeals to the rational driver whilst advertisers tempt the desiring driver.”
“The car culture offers young, working class men the building of masculine identity and thus a sense of dignity and self worth.”
“Cars act as symbols of masculinity that are instrumental in asserting personal status and power.”
Morphett & Safoulis (2005)
Cervical cancer vaccine ad
It aimed to make young women feel positive and empowered about protecting their health.
But would the same approach work for young males when it comes to driving?
School curricula are densely filled and with an exploding range of health and safety measures seeking coverage. It is increasingly difficult to add any type of extended program even though they are known to be needed in terms of best practice.
The exploration of web sites as a possible way to attract and involve young people in road safety needs further exploration.
*Learners and Provisional
Chapman, Buckley & Sheehan (2009)
Lack of safety is a continuing serious problem but GLS has been a major national innovation.
The very high level of community attention and focus that implementing GLS has brought with it has lead to what seems to be some remarkable and much overdue changes in Australia’s road safety environment.
All major insurance companies now have commitment and investment in large outreach interventions to improve young driver safety.
Young driver safety is being increasingly picked up by Health affiliated groups in addition to the traditionally responsible Transport and Police Departments.
The extreme over representation of young males in road user fatalities is a persistent reality and receives only limited attention in interventions.
Chapman, R., Buckley, L. & Sheehan, M. (2009). The potential for a web-based intervention to improve young adult passenger safety. In Proceedings of 2009 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference. Sydney, Australia: November 2009.
Lennon, A.J., Haworth. N.L., Tichener, K., Siskind, V., McKenzie, K., FitzGerald, G., Clark, M.J., Sheehan, M.C., Edmnston, C.J. (2009) Injury prevention in Queensland: report to Queensland Injury Prevention Council.
Lewis, I., Watson, B., White, K.M. (2008) An examination of message-relevant affect in road safety messages: Should road safety advertisements aim to make us feel good or bad? Transportation Research Part F 11 (2008) 403-417.
Morphett, A. & Sofoulis, Z .(2005) Cars, Sex, Drugs and media: comparing modalities of road safety and public health messages, In Lisa Dorn, (ed.), Driving Behaviour and Training Vol 2: Human Factors in Road and Rail Transport, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 61-78.
Pickett, W., Schmidt, H., Boyce, W.F. et al. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 156:2002: 786-93.
Redshaw S.(2008) In the company of cars, England: Ashgate Publishing.
RRISK Evaluation Report 2002-2005 Summary (2008) North Coast Area Health Service.
Soole, D.W., Chapman, R., Sheehan, M., Siskind, V. & Buckley, L.(2007) Australasian College of Road Safety Conference on Infants, Children and Young People and Road Safety. Sydney.
Walker, Linley, Butland, D. & Connell, R.W (2000) Boys on the road: masculinities, car culture, and road safety education, Journal of Men’s Studies, 8(2),153-169.
Williams, C. (2005) Stealing a car to be a man: the importance of cars and driving in the gender identity of adolescent males. PhD Thesis (unpublished) QUT: Australia.
Wilson, S., Seggie, J. & Morphett, A. (2008) Youth and Road Trauma Forum, paper presented to Road Safety Research In Proceedings of 2008 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference. Perth, Australia: November 2008.
Cervical cancer vaccine ad image from CSL Limited Annual Report 2006-2007. Retrieved 7 August 2009 from http://annualreport.csl.com.au/AR07/AR07_BF_CSL_Biotherapies_Feature.asp
Corinaldi, S. & Leong, J. (2008). Motivating Gen Y when it’s not about fun. In Proceedings of Adolescent Health 2008. Melbourne, Australia: 5-7 November 2008.
Figure 1 from Queensland Transport Discussion Paper Queensland youth: on the road and in control. Queensland Government, October 2005. http://www.transport.qld.gov.au/resources/file/eb9c8b4d6a194f6/Pdf_young_drivers_discussion_paper v2.pdf
keys2drive. (2009). Retrieved 7 August 2009 from
pjh8888. (2007). Speeding. No one thinks big of you. Retrieved 7 August 2009 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgV9Oa6z5wY
RaptorFag. (2006). Australian Speeding Advert. Retrieved 7 August 2009 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75GuzsGzoP0&NR=1
rdelacruise. (2006). Mitsubishi I like the way you move. Retrieved 7 August 2009 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbfMSh6QYjM
TopGearOz. (2009). NEW Top Gear Aus: Ep4 - Audi V10 vs HSV. Retrieved 7 August 2009 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdBKx96IEP4
wuzzlevideos. (2008). Queensland Transport – Nightmare (Australia). Retrieved 7 August 2009 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFH24xX1Em8