Young driver safety: behaviour change techniques08 Mar 2017

Safety interventions lack evidential underpinning

Road collisions are a leading cause of death amongst young people and the number of young drivers killed and seriously injured on the nation’s roads remains stubbornly high, despite decades of public intervention programmes.

This report by Dr Mark Sullman of Cranfield University, finds that the vast majority of today’s road safety interventions, for young drivers and other age groups, are based on ideas of what might work rather than on the available theory or research evidence. Few interventions are adequately evaluated and of those that are, the vast majority have not led to demonstrably improved road safety amongst attendees.

Given the limited resources available for road safety interventions, it is vital that the initiatives adopted reduce loss of life and prevent serious injuries to the greatest possible extent.

The review provides some vitally important pointers for practitioners working in road safety exploring what lessons can be learned from other sectors. In particular, it shows what can be learnt from the effectiveness and use of Behaviour Change Techniques in other areas of public health and which techniques have improved intervention success.

Following this report, the RAC Foundation will be publishing a practical guide in April 2017 for road safety professionals covering how to develop effective interventions. This guidance will build on the evidence presented in this report with the aim of providing a range of materials to help practitioners develop the most effective interventions.