Psychological factors in road traffic accidents: Statistical evidence and a study of the effects of viewing an anti-speeding film

Julian Leslie, F Rooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Published data show strong, but indirect, evidence for the role of psychological factors in fatal road accidents in both parts of Ireland. Males are much more often killed in accidents than females, and this remains the case when only vehicle drivers are considered. In both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, male deaths are strongly linked to age, with those of 18-24 years being most at risk. If drivers only are considered, then the Northern Ireland statistics again show a pronounced peak in the 18-24 years range, but this is less evident in the Republic of Ireland. These data replicate the young driver problem, previously documented in studies in many countries. The second part of this paper presents data from a study conducted by an advertising agency evaluating a film to be used as part of a televised campaign to reduce speeding in Northern Ireland. Participants (17-24 years old) produced second-by-second ratings of films as they watched them. The anti-speeding film was rated as more interesting, but no more relevant to them than comparison films with different content. In post-viewing questionnaires, the anti-speeding film was again rated as more interesting but no more relevant than the other films. Content analysis of other questions showed that participants liked the fact that the film showed the dangers and the consequences of speeding, and participants either disliked nothing about the film or disliked the distressing accident shown in the film. Implications for health promotion strategies and their evaluation are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-47
JournalIrish journal of Psychology
Volume17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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