Community Health – Driving Behaviours of Young Adults
Driving Blind: The Use of Mobile Phones When Driving
There are numerous factors that attribute to the greater rates of morbidity and mortality among young adults aged 17 -25 years. Some examples of factors of road-safety related incidents include peer pressure from the passengers, alcohol and drugs use, mobile phone use, fatigue and high self-efficacy. Specifically, the use of mobile phones when driving is significantly important for young adults to understand as their driving behaviours and attitudes can have major impacts on the road-safety of the community. This plays a vital role in reducing the morbidity and mortality rates in this age group as well as minimising harm to the community. Current road-safety initiatives and policies are questioned for its effectiveness in supporting young motorists as mobile phone use when driving rates are still exceptional high. Such campaigns, like ‘Mobile Distraction – it’s not a good look!’ initiated by Motor Accident Commission South Australia, have few positive responses from young audience towards mobile phone distraction. Its approach on tackling the issue within adolescents and their use of mobile devices when driving is fairly significant, but can be improved and enhanced to combat this growing road-safety problem within the society.
One of the most common and dangerous behaviours adolescent possess is the use of mobile phones when driving. According to the National Safety Council, 1.2 million car crashes in 2013 involved drivers talking on the phone, and at least 341,000 involved text messaging. The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) is one of the many campaigns in Australia that attempted to address the community concern of young adults using their mobile phones when driving. MAC “is South Australia’s leader in road safety behaviour change and education, and is dedicated to the safety of all South Australian road users”. It provides funding for research and projects that aim to reduce the number and impact of road injuries and deaths. Specifically analysing their campaign for mobile distraction, claims to target “both younger and older South Australians”. Based from the television advertisement, it could be predicted that it aims to change the driving behaviours of people aged 25 years and less. ‘Mobile Distraction – it’s not a good look!’ started at 2015 but further developed in 2016 till 2017. It ran through multiple platforms such as television advertisements, radio announcements, digital screening such as social media and outdoor platforms where used to reach the targeted audience. MAC delivered the intended message with an approach that evokes fear, guilt and embarrassment from the audience to create a difference in current driving behaviours.
‘Mobile Distraction – it’s not a good look!’ reached “a large percentage of South Australian’s using TV, radio, digital, cinema and outdoor platforms to communicate key messages” (MAC, 2018). The...