How males and females define speeding and how they would feel getting caught for it – some implications for anti speeding message development
Submission Date: 2012
Speeding represents a major contributor to road trauma, increasing crash frequency and severity. Anti-speeding 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.