Road Safety News

New elements for Safe Drive Stay Alive 2014

Thursday 13th November 2014

More than 18,000 young people from schools and colleges across the Thames Valley are attending an “emotive and hard-hitting presentation about the harrowing consequences of being involved in a road collision”.

Safe Drive Stay Alive productions are taking place at five venues across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire during November. The event is designed to educate new or pre-drivers about the importance of being safe on the road.

Safe Drive Stay Alive is produced by a road safety partnership including Thames Valley & Hampshire police forces, local authority road safety teams, and emergency services.

While Safe Drive Stay Alive has been around for several years, a number of new elements have been added for 2014, including a new 24-page magazine, the Safe Drive Companion Guide, which comprises news and advice specifically for young drivers to complement the Safe Drive Stay Alive roadshow.

The Safe Drive team has also worked with HM Coroners to develop a follow-up resource that provides a role play of the inquest process, which will be distributed to every attending school.

Speakers at the 2014 roadshow include a young woman who has been left with permanent scars and life changing injuries as the result of a collision, and a young man who lost both legs in the fire which engulfed his car following a crash.

Thames Valley’s emergency services also speak about what it’s like dealing with road incidents where young drivers are seriously injured or killed.

Superintendent Lucy Hutson, Hampshire's head of roads policing, said: “Safe Drive Stay Alive is about making young people aware of the many dangers they face and the impact of their actions behind the wheel on themselves, their friends, family, and also the emergency services that deal with them.”


Comment on this story
Report a reader comment

What's your view - comment on this story:

I confirm that I have read and accept the moderation policy and house rules relating to comments posted on this website.
Your comment:
Your name and location:
Your email:

In a nutshell, there is a lot of good analysis being conducted but very little ends up being used to inform interventions, for a number of reasons.

In the worst case, the research suggests that certain interventions actually have a negative effect (e.g. skid pan training breeding overconfidence and subsequently increase risk in young male drivers) yet evidence-based development and subsequent, meaningful monitoring and evaluation of the outcomes are not commonplace throughout the industry.

My point is that by getting academics and practitioners to work more closely, instead of expecting an expert in delivery to become an expert in research as well or vice versa, you pool the expertise to improve it all.
Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

Duncan (and Matt to some extent):
I'm still not sure where you're coming from with all this. In a nutshell, what is it you think we still don't know or need to know that you think needs to be researched/ established/ published on this subject? Is there not more than enough investigation and analysis already without a further body to carry out what is already being done?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (2) | Disagree (2)

The problem is Matt that the poor foot soldiers on the ground (the drivers and riders) never get to learn from any of this! The output from all of this wonderful collaboration between academic, policy and practitioner sides of road safety is always a rehash of established behaviourist conclusions and never any real learning.

For a demonstration of how real learning takes place you could do no better than take a look at the latest accident report on an aircraft fatality.

We can and do learn a huge amount from such in-depth analysis, but we drivers and riders never get to see anything similar. In the DREAM 3.0 paper it calls for the establishment of an operation along the lines of the Air Aaccident Investigation Branch only for the road transport industry (Deliverable D4.5 Recommendations for
Transparent and Independent Road Accident Investigation). That recommendation was made way back in 2008 yet we are not even beginning to think about establishing such a system let alone being able to learn from it!
Duncan MacKillop, Startford on Avon

Agree (1) | Disagree (3)

I know for definite from my time studying at Loughborough University that the HFF method (or further adaptations of it) are being used in current in-depth crash studies.

The million-dollar question for the academic, policy and practitioner sides of road safety is how to ensure the outcomes of up-to-date research are appropriately implemented and evaluated in practice?

I'm aware of some fantastic partnership work undertaken between Universities and Local Authorities, but would suggest this should possibly be the norm rather than the exception?
Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)

The TRACE paper is a work of near genius. Take this quote from the paper as an example. "In line with a system perspective approach (Dekker, 2002), the study of these HFF in roads accidents is not limited to the analysis of human determinants only (i.e. human factors of errors). The purpose of approaching error in that way is to show how malfunctions in interactions within the User-Vehicle-Environment system are revealed in the functions engaged by the person in charge of regulating and directly controlling this system: the driver seen as a regulator. As stated above, the emphasis of this work no longer focuses on blaming the human component of this system, but on revealing the explanatory mechanisms that lead to specific failures, in relation to the situational context in which they are found".

Sadly for the road safety industry the concepts and findings in TRIP-TRACE have been universally ignored simply because they don't follow the behaviourist model. In fact behaviourism is dismissed by TRIP-TRACE in favour of using a far superior theory based on the systemic approach.

I have been encouraging the use of this method since first joining this forum and yet even with the wealth of evidence in support of this stance it still seems to be treated with disdain. I suppose the major problem with TRIP-TRACE is that it reveals the enormity of what we don't actually know about the road accident problem. When faced with the choice between the certainty of behaviourism and the deep uncertainty of systems it's not surprising that people will tend to plump for the former.
Duncan MacKillop, Startford on Avon

Agree (2) | Disagree (3)

Duncan (four posts below):

The European SafetyNet project explored accident causation and used the Driving Reliability and Error Analysis Method (DREAM 3.0). The approach is academic, removing the apportion of blame, and has been used in a number of countries across Europe. You can find all the project details here:

I'm also aware of other in-depth crash studies using the Human Functional Failure (HFF) method, which is similar in its approach.

In terms of frameworks for analysing crash causation these are both pretty good.

In terms of injury reduction though, causation is only one part and there are other frameworks that have been used for many years to place interventions within the area of harm reduction. Firstly, the Haddon Matrix which was developed back in the 60s and has now been followed by the Safe System Approach.
Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire

Agree (5) | Disagree (0)

Accident reports don't tell us what we couldn't work out for ourselves anyway. Observing driver and other road user behaviour tells us what we need to know but, as I've said that's not the problem - the hurdle is getting the right people to listen and obviously take heed.

The campaigns as described in this news item are a bit too scattergun and there's no way of ensuring the target individuals are going to respond anyway. Compare that with a police officer talking to such a person at the roadside with the possible threat of a fine etc. and the latter, to me, seems to be the comminication method far more likely to produce results, although some people are so obstinate and deaf to good advice they may never change - fortunately traffic laws and penalties are there to reinforce the message.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (2) | Disagree (16)

Oh how I wish that were true Hugh! Sadly in the current system we do not start with the crash and work backwards to find out what combination of circumstances generated the seeds of an accident. What we do instead is see an accident, see some 'bad behaviour' and then conflate the two to prove cause and effect.

The system you describe is certainly the one we use in aviation safety and we have benefitted greatly as a result. The recent motorcycle accident study carried out by Dr Elaine Hardy was made all the more difficult due to the inaccessibility of the actual accident investigations and reports. Without a viable feedback system where accident reports can be used for the prevention of future accidents then we have no hope of ever solving the accident problem.

Just in case everybody has forgotten, this is the statement on the Air Accident Investigation Branch website " To improve aviation safety by determining the causes of air accidents and serious incidents and making safety recommendations intended to prevent recurrence
...It is not to apportion blame or liability".
Duncan MacKillop, Startford on Avon

Agree (4) | Disagree (5)

I would suggest working backwards from a typical collision (or ideally - many collisions) to determine the actions over the preceding seconds and minutes by those involved and then concluding where they went wrong and use that as a basis to get as many motorised road users as possible not to make the same mistake. More or less what we're doing now I think, although getting the right messages across to the right people is the stumbling block sometimes. Some people are just not receptive enough to want to learn and improve.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (5) | Disagree (5)

I could do no better that repeat the quote from Dr Frank McKenna (Professor of Psychology and a director of Perception and Performance) who noted that:

“(road safety) Educational interventions often are not sophisticated and are not based on any theory or on a formal body of knowledge. Designing an educational intervention with no guiding theory is like designing a medical intervention with no understanding of physiology.”

It is not education that is the problem per se, but the content and delivery of the current educational interventions that is the real issue. Our group is very much aligned with the thoughts of Dr McKenna in that before truly workable educational inititives can be devised a robust theory of road accident causation has to be in place.

If anybody on this forum is aware of an existing theoretical framework that is provable and demonstrable then I for one would be more than happy to learn what it is.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (11) | Disagree (2)

There is a fringe presentation at this month's conference that looks at preliminary evaluations of a similar intervention in Devon and Cornwall (learn-2-Live). See:

I would encourage those attending and interested in the potential for this kind of intervention to pop along and see what Lauren has to say.
Jeremy, Devon

Agree (12) | Disagree (1)

As we become older and wiser most of us begin to realise that it could indeed happen to us. This intervention is an attempt to achieve the wiser bit without necessarily being older. That sums up the purpose of education in a nutshell. If you do not like it, or think that it achieves nothing, perhaps you could steer us in the correct direction?
David, Suffolk

Agree (16) | Disagree (5)

Really good to see the effort being applied to evaluating the effectiveness of Safe Drive Stay Alive and intentions are a key stage in behaviour change. With the new wider evaluation have you considered scope to observe behaviour in a real/simulated environment as well as self-reported intentions?
Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire

Agree (14) | Disagree (0)

A 75% increase in young people intending to switch off their mobiles before driving sounds wonderful, but how many actually did and how many continue to do so?
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (12) | Disagree (3)

Over the years we have undertaken several substantial evaluation studies of the efficacy of Safe Drive. The 2009 study which compared over 1,000 delegates attending SDSA and a comparison group of around 400 showed improved intentions of around 12% on key indicators such as speed choice and seat belt use among attendees. Last year's study showed a 75% increase in young people intending to switch off their mobiles before driving. This year the analysis is likely to be even more substantial as we have around 1,500 students enrolled in the study, making it one of the largest of its kind. We are committed to evidence based, evaluated interventions that work, and will continue to use the best analytical and behaviour change techniques to deliver ongoing improvements.
Dan Campsall, Communications Director, Road Safety Analysis

Agree (26) | Disagree (10)

Road accidents as well as disease and death are things that happen to the other fellow, never to us. This is bog-basic psychology yet here is a bunch of clever people from a road safety partnership completely ignoring this basic fact.
Duncan MacKillop, Startford on Avon

Agree (15) | Disagree (28)