August 22, 2018
In 2007, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published an excellent book which since then has been one of our key “go to” resources for valuable guidelines. Its title was: Improving Traffic Safety Culture in the United States — The Journey Forward [See footnote for a relevant excerpt].
There can be no doubt that geographical, political, socio-economic and — importantly — workplace aspects of culture have a major influence on road safety, and this can be seen not only from one country to another but often from region to region within a country.
Equally, there can be no doubt that traffic safety interventions which fail to consider and adapt to relevant aspects of local cultures are commonly doomed to failure.
Continue reading “The ‘Culture’ You Come From Can Radically Affect Your Safety on the Road”
Training drivers to have the insight to avoid emergency situations, not the skills to overcome emergency situations
Emergency situations are situations that require immediate action to regain control over the vehicle and/or that require immediate action to avoid a crash. Driver training that aims to enhance the skills to regain control in emergency situations such as skid training, evasive swerving and emergency lane changes has proven not to be effective. Moreover, there is a plenitude of evidence that crisis evasion courses can actually increase crash rates. However, driver training that aims to enhance risk-‐ awareness, self-‐awareness and the acceptance of low levels of risk can reduce the crash rates of young novice drivers. As driving is predominantly a self‐paced task, technically skilful drivers are not necessarily also safe drivers. A not too technically skilful driver (i.e. a driver who has moderate vehicle handling skills) who does not overestimate his or her capabilities and/or does not underestimate the risks, drives safer than a skilful driver who overestimates his or her capabilities and/or underestimates the risks.
The Driver Behaviour, Education, and Training Subcommittee has declared that training programs aimed at enhancing the skills to regain control in emergency situations should not be included in basic driver education or in advanced driver training programs; because, the learned skills in such training programs erode quickly, and such training programs result in more risk taking due to overconfidence. Basic driver education and advanced driver training should be aimed at improving the calibration skills of learner drivers and novice drivers. Well‐calibrated drivers can detect latent hazards in traffic situations, do not underestimate the likelihood that these hazards will cause their adverse effects (i.e. they are aware of the risks), and do not overestimate their own skills (i.e. they are aware of their own limitations).
The full paper is available here as a pdf:
2014 – IRF-DBET-SC-Endorsement-Driver-Training-11-07-2013 (1)
Vlakveld, W. & Wren, E. (2014) Training drivers to have the insight to avoid emergency situations, not the skills to overcome emergency situations. International Road Federation (IRF), Washington, DC.
Corresponding author: Dr Willem Vlakveld, at SWOV.
See also: When Extra Driving Courses Are a Bad Idea (first posted in 2005)
The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland tend to run 2-3 media campaigns per year, supported by other activity on a more localised level, as part of a wider strategy to reduce road casualties.
These campaigns are generally evaluated on an ad hoc basis among their specific target audiences at the point in time when they are running.
However, it was recognised that there was no on-going tracking to assess the longer term effect of campaigns or local activity on driver behaviours and attitudes more generally – are there any changes occurring in these over time and are these for the better?
Against this background, a survey mechanism was set up in September 2010 to monitor driver behaviour and attitudes in Scotland in relation to some key issues of road safety on a continuous basis.