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Its all about trust: exploring young (male) drivers (and passengers) attitudes to road safety Donna Easterlow Transport Analytical Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Its all about trust: exploring young (male) drivers (and passengers) attitudes to road safety Donna Easterlow Transport Analytical Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Its all about trust: exploring young (male) drivers (and passengers) attitudes to road safety Donna Easterlow Transport Analytical Services

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3 Background In 2007, drivers in the 17 to 25 age group accounted for 18% of all drivers involved in road accidents in Scotland. One in four drivers or riders killed or seriously injured on our roads in 2007 was aged between 17 and 25. Male drivers in this age group are almost twice as likely as females to be involved in an accident. Around 24,000 younger drivers pass their driving test in Scotland every year. As many as 1 in 5 will be involved in a crash in their first six months of independent driving.

4 So young (male) drivers are at risk, but they dont know/believe/want to accept they are … If youre driving fast, youre driving fast because youre still within your limits, so you feel youre in control of the car. So you wouldnt think about risk because you feel youre within your limits and you can control the car at that speed (Driver, male, 21-25) Its probably not going to happen to me. I have control of my car…Youre just as likely as anyone really… (Driver, male, 17-21)

5 Scottish Government Research Qualitative Research with Young People: Road Safety (2008) Rural Road Safety: Drivers and Driving (2008)

6 What makes a good driver? Is careful Is courteous and patient Has good reactions Has common sense Keeps an average speed Isnt a boy racer Is observant and aware Is relaxed, calm and focused Is able to control their vehicle Is not over cautious or confident Doesnt mess about Thinks of possible outcomes before they happen

7 Driving skills and ability Young male drivers are (over) confident in discussing their driving ability and believe they are good drivers: I took it easy the first couple of weeks I passed my test, so I got used to everything first, and then I just went wild….I would do 60 (at first), but now I do whatever I want. I know I can drive now. Im confident in myself (Driver, male, 17-21) Young female drivers are more reserved about their driving ability, acknowledging the importance of their lack of experience. They feel more of a need to be cautious and careful until they have sufficient driving experience.

8 What do young drivers think affects their driving ability? Alcohol Drugs Peer pressure

9 Drinking and driving If someone is used to drinking they might not think it has affected them but it can. Alcohol drops your concentration levels and your reactions ( Driver, female, 20-25) Alcohol makes you tired - more likely to fall asleep at the wheel (Driver, female, 20-25) Someone younger is less used to alcohol. An older person is more likely to know when they've had too much (Driver, female, 20-25)

10 Acceptable limits to drinking and driving Lack of clarity around the legal limits, but: I don't think my reactions would be influenced at all if I had two drinks (Driver, male, 20-25) I wouldn't judge it on how I felt; I'd judge it on time (Driver, male, 20-25) As a rule I wouldn't drive if I had had anything to drink (Driver, male,16-19) I wouldn't risk having one drink. Even if I've been drinking the night before I'll walk to work in the morning (Driver, female, 20-25)

11 Taking drugs and driving If you can't walk or open your eyes why would you be able to drive? (Driver, female, 20-25) The effects of drugs can linger - you don't know how long they are in your system (Driver, female, 20-25)

12 Travelling with a driver who has had a drink I'd get in if it was convenient (Non-driver, male, 20-25) If my mate's drunk and I'm drunk, I'd probably get in - but not if I'm sober (Driver, male, 20-25) I wouldn't get in the car with someone who was over the limit - but I have before when I was drunk (Driver, female, ) I was in a car with someone who had been drinking - I had too so didn't realise (Driver, female, 20-25)

13 Trusting a driver who has had a drink You wouldn't go with someone you didn't know - like a mate's mate – but it's okay if you trust the person. It's all about trust (Non-driver, male, 16-19) If it was a mate and he'd had about 3 pints then I'd probably get in (Driver, male, 20-25) You can just ask, like 'are you mad wi' it?' and they'll tell you. If it's your friend (Non-driver, male, 16-19) If you know someone well enough to get in the car with them you should be able to ask them (Driver, female, 20-25)

14 Taking drugs and driving People in our area often chill out, have skunk in their car and just drive around the same place (Male non-driver, 16-19) I've seen people just smoke all night and drive around the area (Male non-driver, 16-19)

15 Peer pressure 1: The influence of friends If they're (mates) in the car with you…I'd still go round the corner quicker than what I would do if I was on my own…to make yourself look good. It's the feel-good factor. You feel good in yourself, but somebody else is also seeing you feel good.' (Male driver,17-21) Friends in the car make you show off (Male driver, 16-19)

16 Peer pressure 2: Positive influence 'My girlfriend, my sister…even my mates in the car, then I'll just drive at regular speed and I'll probably take the main roads. But if I'm driving myself, I'll put the foot down a little bit more and have a wee bit more fun. But I wouldn't ever take a risk with other people on the car' (Male driver, 17-21) Just my girlfriend that nags me…But when I'm on my own or with my mates, it's just the usual…Ripping about…a lot faster than usual…a lot faster than the speed limit' (Male driver, 17-21) 'I slow down when I've got passengers. When I'm by myself, it's just me, so there's nothing…Nobody's going to say anything about it. If you crash, you're not going to hurt someone else. When it's just me, nobody's going to stop me' (Male driver, 21-25)

17 Peer pressure 3: Common themes in whether people would influence the driving behaviour of others Depends on type of relationship Trust and friendship Perception of danger Ability to offer a practical solution

18 Peer pressure 4: Effectiveness of peer influence in improving driver behaviour Its not easy but I would still say to her to slow down, but I doubt she would listen (Non-driver, male, 20-25). I would definitely listen if they were right. If I was only doing 50 or 60 I wouldnt listen – I would probably wait for a second warning (Driver, female, 20-25).

19 What makes a good passenger? Doesnt stress or distract the driver Is quite and calm Isnt a back seat driver Doesnt pass on their own bad habits Trusts the driver Always wears their seatbelt Doesnt fiddle with things Doesnt interfere Has a basic knowledge of driving Acts as a second eye Is helpful – eg with maps Would tell the driver if they drove badly Looks after the kids in the car Doesnt change the music

20 Driving style: Speeding Speeding has been made okay - everyone does it (Female driver, 16-19) Everyone does it. I don't know a single person who drives at 30mph. Even my mum, she's a driving instructor (Male non-driver, 20-25)

21 Rural roads and speeding 'If you're driving fast, there's not many pedestrians…All you're going to hit is a sheep (Male driver, 17-21) 'There are less people watching you as well, so that's why you go for it. You know the police aren't likely to be there if you're going round on the wrong side (Male driver, 17-21) 'On the country road the police are never going to stand with a speed camera (Male driver, 21-25) If youre in a crash in the countryside, nine times out of ten its going to kill you (Male driver, 20-25)

22 Driving, identity, status and personality Autonomy: I took it easy the first couple of weeks I passed my test, so I got used to everything first, and then I just went wild….I would do 60 (at first), but now I do whatever I want. (Driver, male, 17-21)

23 Driving, identity, status and personality Confidence: I took it easy the first couple of weeks I passed my test, so I got used to everything first, and then I just went wild….I would do 60 (at first), but now I do whatever I want. I know I can drive now. Im confident in myself (Driver, male, 17-21) …when somebodys just passed their test, theyll put their foot down. They think theyre invincible….over-confident (Driver, male, 17-21)

24 Driving, identity, status and personality Control: If youre driving fast, youre driving fast because youre still within your limits, so you feel youre in control of the car. So you wouldnt think about risk because you feel youre within your limits and you can control the car at that speed (Driver, male, 21-25) Its probably not going to happen to me. I have control of my car…Youre just as likely as anyone really… (Driver, male, )

25 Driving, identity, status and personality Thrill-seeking: Depending how fast you go, the more of a thrill you get…. (Driver, male, 21-25) Its probably as close as youre ever going to get to being a rally driver…(although) that sounds totally irresponsible (Driver, male, 21-25)

26 Driving, identity, status and personality Status: If they're (mates) in the car with you…I'd still go round the corner quicker than what I would do if I was on my own…to make yourself look good. It's the feel-good factor. You feel good in yourself, but somebody else is also seeing you feel good.' (Male driver,17-21)

27 Personal System Influences on Crash-Involvement (Stradling 2006)

28 A model of influences on crash-involvement Young drivers typically figure higher on factors on the violation route: Age Personality factors such as risk taking Lifestyle factors such as night driving General attitudes such as fearlessness and compliance with peer pressure (In)experience Unsafe driving beliefs and attitudes High violating driving style (Stradling 2006)

29 Reflections Attitude deficit Attitude-behaviour gap Role of trust and confidence Implications for road safety policy/campaigns


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