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Examining gender differences in drivers' thoughts and feelings about different outcomes of speeding: implications for future anti-speeding messages.

Lewis, I, Watson, B, White, K M, Elliott, B, Cockfield, S, Thompson, J (Peer reviewed)

Driver Psychology / Human Factors

ACRS conference 2013

Speeding remains a pervasive road safety problem, increasing both crash frequency and severity. Advertising countermeasures which aim to change individuals’ attitudes and behaviours are a key component in the array of countermeasures aimed at reducing this risky behaviour. Enhancing individuals’ perceptions of the personal relevance of such messages is important for increasing persuasiveness.

This study examined what males and females reported as the most concerning aspects associated with (i) receiving a speeding fine, (ii) losing one’s license, and (iii) being involved in a crash. For each of these outcomes, a range of specific and appropriate aspects were assessed. For instance, in relation to receiving a fine, individuals reported the extent to which they would, for example, feel concerned about losing demerit points and paying more in insurance premiums.

An online survey of 751 drivers (579 males; 16-79 years) was administered. When controlling for age, overall significant gender differences were found in relation to two of the three outcomes; receiving a fine and being in a crash. Follow-up tests of univariate effects revealed that females consistently reported being significantly more concerned than males on all aspects. Thus, for being fined, females were significantly more concerned with, for example, being caught and receiving a ticket in the mail; while, for being in a crash, specific aspects included, for example, injuring/killing oneself and seeing oneself as not a good/safe driver. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for developing well-targeted messages aimed at discouraging drivers from speeding.