Rural roads targeted in new safety campaign to prevent deaths and injuries among young drivers
Road safety experts are urging drivers to consider the dangers of speeding in an earlier this year THINK! campaign. The campaign, called "Is pushing it worth it?", specifically targets young male drivers who are statistically more likely to be killed or injured compared to older drivers.
Research shows that 60% of serious and fatal collisions involving young male drivers occur on rural roads. Concerns are also raised about the acceptance of speeding among young men, with less than half considering it unacceptable.
The government is actively working on enhancing road safety, especially on rural roads, by investing £100m to improve the most dangerous roads in England. These improvements include better signage, pedestrian crossings, and junction designs.
Road Safety Minister Richard Holden said: “Road safety is our priority, but we want to accelerate our efforts to tackle unsafe driving habits and create some of the safest roads in the world.
“We’re highlighting the dangers of relaxed driving attitudes on rural roads so that everyone recognises that pushing the speed limit is just not worth it.”
Did you know that speeding is responsible for a staggering one in four fatal collisions? Shockingly, it's also one of the most widely accepted habits among drivers, particularly young men.
But here's the hard truth: speed kills. Each week, a shocking 54 young lives are shattered by devastating injuries caused by reckless driving in the UK alone.
Dr Gemma Briggs, Professor of Applied Cognitive Psychology at the Open University, said:
“Most drivers consider themselves to be ‘better than average’ at driving. This can make drivers feel that while others shouldn’t speed, their own increased skill means they can handle a bit of extra speed, and every journey completed seemingly without incident for a speeding driver confirms to them that their behaviour is acceptable, even if they endanger others.
“Young drivers also have these biases, but have the added problem of a lack of driving experience. They can’t rely on their previous experience to understand driving situations, so adding other elements to this such as additional speed increases the likelihood of young drivers failing to notice hazards and being involved in a collision.”
THINK! research reveals young males' underestimation of risks when driving slightly above the appropriate speed for road conditions. The campaign aims to address overconfidence among young drivers and emphasise the importance of not exceeding speed limits or driving too fast for the road. It is part of a broader safety initiative, including the 'Driver2020' research project, which aims to enhance the safety, confidence, and skills of young drivers in their first year on the road.
RAC road safety spokesperson Simon Williams said: “We know speeding presents a clear and present road safety danger, particularly on country roads where the number of collisions is much greater. We also know that far too many young people are injured or killed every year in car accidents, so hopefully this campaign can bring about some much-needed behavioural change among the nation’s least experienced drivers which helps to keep everyone safe on our rural roads.”
The government's THINK! campaign is celebrating another milestone in its efforts to promote road safety and reduce fatalities and serious injuries on UK roads. Since its inception, road deaths in the UK have decreased by 46%. The campaign has specifically focused on young male drivers, who are four times more likely to be involved in fatal or serious accidents compared to drivers aged 25 and older. THINK! has successfully influenced attitudes towards issues such as drink driving, passenger distraction, and using handheld mobile devices while driving.
It's time to wake up and take action! Put an end to this silent killer on our roads. Spread the word, share the message, and let's make a stand against speeding. Lives can be saved and protect our loved ones from becoming the next victims of this deadly menace. Remember: speed may seem thrilling, but the consequences are deadly. Don't let yourself or anyone else become another tragic statistic. Act now and make a difference!
This news story has been produced by Chesil Radio's News Team, for more information please visit: https://www.chesilradio.com