Road trauma perceptions and the potential influence of the media

Fleiter, Judy J. & Watson, Barry C. (2012) Road trauma perceptions and the potential influence of the media. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, 19(4), pp. 378-383.

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The United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) recognises the urgency of addressing global road trauma. Road crashes and attempts to reduce risky driving, including public education campaigns, receive media attention in many countries. In Australia, road fatalities have declined significantly. However, the extent of awareness about this success and of fatalities overall is unclear. A survey of 833 Australian drivers revealed the majority of participants under-estimated fatalities. Unexpectedly, some under-estimates appear based on recollections of media reports. The findings suggest lack of awareness of the extent of road deaths and that, paradoxically, media reports might contribute to underestimations. This represents a major public health challenge. Engaging community support for road safety, relative to other health/safety messages, may prove difficult if the extent of road trauma is misunderstood. Misperceptions about fatality levels may be a barrier to road users adopting safety precautions or supporting further road safety countermeasures.

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ID Code: 52851
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: injury prevention, mass media, risk perception, safety promotion, road safety
DOI: 10.1080/17457300.2012.679002
ISSN: 1745-7319
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion © 2012 copyright Taylor & Francis; International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion is available online at:
Deposited On: 02 Aug 2012 02:55
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2013 09:34

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