The beliefs which influence young males to speed and strategies to slow them down : informing the content of anti-speeding messages

Lewis, Ioni M., Watson, Barry C., White, Katherine M., & Elliott, Barry (2013) The beliefs which influence young males to speed and strategies to slow them down : informing the content of anti-speeding messages. Psychology and Marketing, 30(9), pp. 826-841.

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Young male drivers are over-represented in road-related fatalities. Speeding represents a pervasive and significant contributor to road trauma. Anti-speeding messages represent a long-standing strategy aimed at discouraging drivers from speeding. These messages, however, have not always achieved their persuasive objectives which may be due, in part, to them not always targeting the most salient beliefs underpinning the speeding behavior of particular driver groups.

The current study elicited key beliefs underpinning speeding behavior as well as strategies used to avoid speeding, using a well-validated belief-based model, the Theory of Planned Behavior and in-depth qualitative methods. To obtain the most comprehensive understanding about the salient beliefs and strategies of young male drivers, how such beliefs and strategies compared with those of drivers of varying ages and gender, was also explored. Overall, 75 males and females (aged 17-25 or 30-55 years) participated in group discussions. The findings revealed beliefs that were particularly relevant to young males and that would likely represent key foci for developing message content. For instance, the need to feel in control and the desire to experience positive affect when driving were salient advantages; while infringements were a salient disadvantage and, in particular, the loss of points and the implications associated with potential licence loss as opposed to the monetary (fine) loss (behavioral beliefs).

For normative influences, young males appeared to hold notable misperceptions (compared with other drivers, such as young females); for instance, young males believed that females/girlfriends were impressed by their speeding. In the case of control beliefs, the findings revealed low perceptions of control with respect to being able to not speed and a belief that something “extraordinary” would need to happen for a young male driver to lose control of their vehicle while speeding. The practical implications of the findings, in terms of providing suggestions for devising the content of anti-speeding messages, are discussed.

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14 citations in Scopus
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10 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 61273
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: psychology, beliefs, males, speed
DOI: 10.1002/mar.20648
ISSN: 1520-6793
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000)
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 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 12 Jul 2013 03:40
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2015 15:39

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