Young driver interventions ‘lack evidential underpinning’
A new report has found that few young driver interventions are adequately evaluated and of those that are, the vast majority have not led to demonstrably improved road safety among those exposed to the intervention.
Published today (8 March), the RAC Foundation report comprises a ‘review of behaviour change techniques for future interventions’, exploring what lessons can be learned from other sectors.
In particular, the report shows what can be learnt from the effectiveness and use of behaviour change techniques in areas of public health, and which techniques have improved intervention success.
Road collisions are a leading cause of death among young people and the number of young people killed and seriously injured on the nation’s roads remains stubbornly high, despite decades of public intervention programmes.
The report, produced by Dr Mark Sullman of Cranfield University, also 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.
The report provides ‘relatively clear support’ for several BCTs, concluding that road safety practitioners should include a broader range of BCTs in programmes aimed at pre-drivers and young novice drivers.
It concludes that road safety interventions should include the BCTs which have been found to be effective in other areas of health, including: ‘prompt specific goal-setting’, ‘prompt self-monitoring of behaviour’, ‘provide information on consequences’, ‘plan social support or social change’, ‘provide instruction’ and ‘provide feedback on performance’.
Following this report, the RAC Foundation will be publishing a practical guide for road safety professionals covering how to develop effective interventions.
This will be launched at the Young Driver Focus conference that will be held at the Royal Automobile Club on 26 April. 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.
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