The Young and the Reckless: Message (In)Effectiveness about the Physical Consequences of Motor-Vehicle Accidents for Young Inexperienced Drivers

University of Otago
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 2007 ANZMAC Conference 3Rs: Reputation, Responsibility and Relevance, 2007, pp. 1152 - 1159
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Many marketing communication strategies focus on the physical consequences of accidents to change young and inexperienced drivers management of risk and to curb their overrepresentation in fatalities. To assess this approach, we consider a framework of risk with two elements (uncertainty and consequences). We argue that drivers are uncertain about accidents occurring, and that young inexperienced drivers inappropriately cognitively manage this uncertainty by distorting their views on self-risk relative to drivers whom are more experienced or in their own peer group. We present evidence supporting this. We also consider, and find evidence to support the view, that young less experienced drivers are primarily concerned with physical consequences of risky driving behaviour relative to other consequences. It is concluded that the message has gotten through to such drivers about this consequence as a result of existing campaigns. Future research should now examine whether a change in theme may bring about further reductions in vehicle accidents among these drivers.
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