The DriveFit film and workshop aimed at pre-driving-age young people designed by Dr Elizabeth Box, Research Director at the RAC Foundation, has won a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.
The panel of judges “were especially impressed by the depth of research and evaluation and the involvement of partners in the pre-Driver Theatre and Workshop Education Research project”.
Worldwide, road traffic injuries are a leading cause of death amongst 5–29 year olds[i]. In Great Britain, young drivers between the ages of 17–24 are involved in 24% of all killed and seriously injured (KSI) collisions, despite accounting for a much smaller percentage of all licence holders (7%)[ii]. This study was conducted as pre-driver education, commonly delivered to this at-risk group, has been found to be rarely effective[iii].
DriveFit, which was developed and delivered as part of the Pre-driver Theatre and Workshop Education Research project, is a road safety intervention for 16-18 year olds. It comprises a 40-minute film plus online workshop material aimed at engaging participants in identifying, understanding and ultimately tackling high-risk driving behaviours. It draws from a substantial body of research into effective ways of achieving behaviour change and supports young people to develop coping mechanisms and strategies for managing risk.
As part of the research project DriveFit was trialled with a number of volunteer schools and colleges in Devon. The programme was subject to rigorous evaluation which revealed that it achieved longer-lasting effects on the attitudes of participants than traditional ‘shock’ theatre-based performances which focus on collision consequences.
DriveFit is available for practitioners to deliver (See: https://roadsafetygb.org.uk/drivefit/) and will be featured as a model of good practice in forthcoming national road safety education guidance.
DriveFit was funded by national level partners including the Department for Transport, the Road Safety Trust, Road Safety GB, the National Fire Chiefs Council, the RAC Foundation and Kent Fire and Rescue Service. Surrey Fire and Rescue Service and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service supported the delivery of the research trials, which were conducted by Elizabeth during her doctoral studies at Cranfield University. All the organisations are committed to supporting the dissemination of DriveFit and the project’s associated research findings to inform the delivery of future road safety interventions for young soon-to-be-drivers.
Dr Elizabeth Box, Research Director at the RAC Foundation and Principal Investigator for the study said:
“We are honoured and delighted to receive this prestigious award for DriveFit. Not only does the award recognise the dedication and hard work of the team, and the invaluable contributions of our national-level partners who supported the research trials, it will help raise the profile of these research findings and the availability of DriveFit for others to use.
“Collectively we are committed to continuing our efforts to improve road safety for young drivers and to further developing DriveFit and other evidence-based interventions for this at-risk group.”
Dan Quin, the National Fire Chiefs Council’s Road Safety Lead said:
“We are thrilled to have played a pivotal role in supporting this crucial research, the findings from which are actively shaping our nationwide preventive efforts. The National Fire Chiefs Council and Fire and Rescue Services remains steadfast in its dedication to delivering forward-thinking educational initiatives that harness the latest theories and techniques.
“It fills us with great pride to see this collaborative research honoured with a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award, and we look forward to building on this excellent research within our service provisions.”
The Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards ceremony will take place at The Savoy on Tuesday 12th December 2023.
[i] World Health Organisation (2018). Global Status Report on Road Safety. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_safety_status/2018/en/
[ii] RAC Foundation (2020). Young driver licence holding and safety. Retrieved from https://www.racfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/RACF_young_driver_fact_sheet_July_2020.pdf
[iii] Box, E. & Dorn, L. (2023). A cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) evaluation of a pre-driver education intervention using the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Transportation Research Part F: Traggic Psychology and Behaviour, 94, p.379-397. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2023.03.001
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation
[email protected] I 07711 776448
Notes to editors:
About the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards
Since 1987 the awards have given public recognition to those who have improved road safety throughout Britain. Now the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards recognise outstanding achievement and innovation world-wide.
Each year the most outstanding examples of international road safety initiatives are given public recognition through the scheme. For more information about the awards please visit www.roadsafetyawards.com/.
The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users. The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: www.racfoundation.org. To find out more about the Pre-driver Theatre and Workshop Education Research (PdTWER) project please visit the link below: