Improving attitudes towards vulnerable road users

Crundall, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-6030-3631 and Van Loon, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-6986-2923, 2023. Improving attitudes towards vulnerable road users. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 184: 107006. ISSN 0001-4575

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Some car drivers pass vulnerable road users (VRUs) at too high a speed and leave too little gap. Research suggests that out-group bias and a lack of empathy may relate to these dangerous incidents. To address this problem, four road safety videos were created with the aim of increasing car drivers’ empathy toward Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs). Each video focused on the back-story of a VRU (two horse riders and two cyclists), with a predominantly persuasive approach to inducing empathy and reducing out-group bias. The effectiveness of the videos on car drivers’ immediate implicit and explicit attitudes, and on their future intended behaviour around these VRUs, was assessed by comparing intervention participants’ responses with those of control participants, both before and after the intervention. Explicit attitudes towards horse riders improved following the intervention for drivers who saw the horse rider videos compared to a control group. The horse rider videos did not however improve explicit attitudes toward cyclists. Similarly, those participants who saw the cyclist videos showed improved attitudes towards cyclists but not horse riders. An Implicit Attitude Test (IAT) found no implicit biases for or against horse riders or cyclists, either before or after the intervention. Intended future passing behaviour was affected by the intervention however, with car drivers reporting greater intended passing distances and lower passing speeds compared to the control group. The results suggest that safety campaigns that adopt this approach can change attitudes and intended behaviours towards VRUs.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Accident Analysis and Prevention
Creators: Crundall, D. and Van Loon, E.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: May 2023
Volume: 184
ISSN: 0001-4575
S0001457523000532Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 20 Feb 2023 10:25
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 08:35

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