How males and females define speeding and how they’d feel getting caught for it : some implications for anti-speeding message development

Lewis, Ioni M., Watson, Barry C., White, Katherine M., Elliott, Barry, Thompson, John, & Cockfield, Samantha (2012) How males and females define speeding and how they’d feel getting caught for it : some implications for anti-speeding message development. In Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference 2012, 4-6 October 2012, Wellington, New Zealand.

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Speeding represents a major contributor to road trauma, increasing crash frequency and severity. Antispeeding campaigns represent a key strategy aimed at discouraging individuals from speeding. This paper investigated salient beliefs underpinning male and female drivers’ travel speed behaviour, with the view to use such insight to, ultimately, inform the content of targeted anti-speeding messages. A survey of N = 751 (579 males, 16-79 years) drivers assessed what they regarded as speeding in 60km/hr and 100km/hr zones and their beliefs about how they would respond to receiving a speeding infringement. Participants responded to scales which extended up to 20km/hr above each respective speed limit, the lowest speed that they considered was speeding and the speed at which they would be willing to drive and still feel in control. For analyses, to enable greater scrutiny of potential gender differences regarding the speeds identified, participants’ responses to these items were categorised into 5km/hr increments and chi-square analyses conducted. For their responses to (beliefs about) the possibility of being caught speeding, drivers were asked how applicable various beliefs were to them (e.g., feeling unlucky). These beliefs were analysed via MANOVA. The results revealed that there was considerable variability in the speeds identified, thus supporting the value of categorising speeds. Within the 100km/hr zone, based on the categories, a significant difference was found regarding the speed that males would be willing to drive (and still feel in control) relative to females. Specifically, the greatest proportion of males (30.4%) identified speeds within the 106-110km/hr category whereas the greatest proportion of females (38.1%) identified a lower speed, within the 101-105km/hr category, as the speed they would be willing to drive. No other significant differences emerged, however, either in relation to the definition of speeding reported for 100km/hr zones (i.e., males and females tended to identify a similar speed as indicative of speeding) nor for these same items as assessed in relation to the 60km/hr zones. For their responses to the possibility of being caught, males were significantly more likely than females to report that, if caught, a likely response they would have would be to think that they had still been driving safely. In contrast, females were significantly more likely than males to report thinking that their speeding had been unsafe and that they should not have been speeding. Females were also significantly more likely to report feeling embarrassed to tell important others about having received a speeding infringement than males. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for developing well-targeted advertising messages aimed at discouraging drivers’ from speeding.

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ID Code: 54601
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The Australasian College of Road Safety has established a website with a searchable database of conference papers from 2009 onwards. Papers from this conference will be uploaded to this database within a few months after the conference:
Keywords: Speeding, Anti-speeding advertising, Message content, Gender, Road safety
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 please consult the authors
Deposited On: 06 Nov 2012 01:09
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2013 13:37

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