Road Safety Scotland has launched an ‘immersive’ awareness campaign to encourage young drivers to slow down and give themselves time to anticipate hazards on country roads.
Launched at the end of May, the campaign uses two ‘powerful high-tech’ films with the strapline: ‘Prepare for the unexpected. Slow down on country roads’.
The campaign is running throughout the summer, predominantly on digital channels, supported by radio and petrol station advertising.
More than half of all fatalities on Scotland’s roads occur on country roads. In 2016, 789 people were killed or seriously injured on country roads – and two thirds of them were men.
Figures also show that half of all drivers killed or seriously injured on country roads are aged between 22-49 years.
The Road Safety Management Capacity Review, published earlier this week by the DfT, recommends that the 60mph speed limit should be lowered on thousands of miles of rural roads.
Elizabeth Rockley, senior marketing manager at Safer Scotland, said: “The campaign is aimed at rural drivers aged 22-29 who drive too fast for the conditions and don’t leave enough time to react to hazards.
“Research shows these men take more risks due to over-familiarity with the route and because they enjoy driving fast.
“So working with The Leith Agency, we developed two films, one using 360-degree technology, the other virtual reality.
“On the first, it feels like you’re actually in a car with friends. As you drive round country roads, hazards like sharp bends, parked cars and wildlife appear to show the need to prepare for the unexpected.
“In the virtual reality version, if you look away from the road the film suddenly stops and you have to start again, knowing you need to be more focused this time.
“The audience we’re targeting think they know these roads like the back of their hand. We hope these films will challenge that assumption.”