Road Trip Forever
Using Facebook as its platform, this unique campaign allows the viewer to become part of a powerful online film where you and a friend take a virtual road trip. This road trip shows first hand the value of looking after the lives of your mates.
Young Victorians are massively over-represented in road safety statistics and they account for 22% of all driver deaths on our roads. They are more likely to use mobiles while driving with 29% reading text messages and 21% writing them while driving. 76% of young drivers killed 2012 were males, with a large percentage of this as a result of speeding.
Road Trip Forever uses social media to spread the road message in the hope of reaching as many people as possible. Filmed from a first person point of view, one of the films is aimed at young women and the distractions of phones while the other, for young men, focuses on speeding. The TAC is using a groundbreaking Facebook integration to capture the attention of young people, by placing the user in the driver's seat of a road trip that ends in disaster.
One of the films highlights for young women the dangers of smart phones on the road, while the other film shows young men the potentially tragic consequences of speeding.
One of the aims was to reach young people attending music festivals or taking road trips together as this can be a time where there is a greater risk of road trauma because of the potential for distractions and impaired driving.
Eighteen to 25 year olds remain vastly over-represented in road safety statistics; accounting for just 11.5% of licence holders, yet 22% of all driver deaths on our roads.
And while these films are created around a scenario, the potential for a road crash is a reality.
Despite a large reduction in Victoria's road toll since 1989, the 18 to 25 year age group remains vastly over-represented in road trauma statistics. In their first year of driving, young Victorians are almost four times more likely to be involved in a fatal or serious injury crash than more experienced drivers.
While 18 to 25 year olds represent around 14% of licenced drivers, they accounted for approximately 28% of all drivers killed on Victoria's roads.
A review of young drivers by the Australian Federal Office of Road Safety, now the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), found them to be at greater risk on the roads for a variety of reasons including:
- lack of experience
- limited ability and judgement
- underestimation of risks
- deliberate risk-taking behaviours and
- use of alcohol and drugs.
As part of a co-ordinated effort to reduce the incidence, severity and cost to the community of road crashes involving young people, the TAC developed a youth strategy aimed at pre-drivers, learner drivers and probationary drivers. The strategy includes the programs and initiatives of the TAC's road safety partners: VicRoads, Victoria Police and the RACV.
Launched in March 1999, the HELP campaign aims to achieve long-term reductions in the youth road toll by:
- reducing deliberate risk-taking behaviour
- increasing learner driver experience and
- providing a research platform to address young driver behaviour.
A Graduated Licensing System (GLS) has now been introduced in Victoria with new requirements for learner drivers, probationary license holders and young drivers aged up to 25. You can find out more at the Victorian Road Safety Strategy website.
To better understand the reasons why young drivers are over represented in crashes, the TAC teamed with the RACV and the Australian Institute of Family Studies to research what influences the driving behaviour of young people.
The research was part of the Australian Temperament Project (ATP) – a longitudinal study which has followed the development and wellbeing of a group of Victorian children from infancy to young adulthood. The study surveyed 1135 people aged 19-20 years.
Findings from the research included:
- Unsafe driving such as speeding and driving when fatigued were relatively common among young drivers. However, only a small proportion (7%) reported a consistent pattern of unsafe driving
- The group of drivers with high levels of risky driving in early adulthood could be distinguished from other drivers as early as mid childhood (5-8 years)
- Common risk factors for unsafe or unlawful driving behaviours included:
- less persistent temperament style
- higher aggression and hyperactivity
- higher engagement in anti-social activities
- higher multi-substance use
- lower cooperation
- more difficulties in school adjustments and
- more difficulties in relationships with parents
- Young people who frequently engaged in highly unsafe driving behaviours were more likely to engage in other high risk activities such as substance use and/or anti social behaviour.
A more comprehensive account of this study can be found on the Australian Government Institute of Family Studies website.