The effects of anti-speeding advertisements on the simulated driving behaviour of young drivers

Bernice R C Plant*, Julia D. Irwin, Eugene Chekaluk

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Recent examinations of road safety communications, including anti-speeding advertisements, have considered the differential effects of positive and negative emotional appeals on driver behaviour. However, empirical evaluations of anti-speeding messages have largely relied on measures of viewers’ reported intentions to comply with speed limits and the self-reported driving behaviour of viewers post-exposure, which might not be indicative of the direct effects that these messages have on real-world driving behaviour. The current research constitutes a first empirical evaluation of different real-world anti-speeding advertisements, as measured by their effects on young drivers’ speeding behaviour, using a driving simulator. Licensed drivers (N = 116) aged 17–25 years completed driving measures prior to, immediately following, and 7–10 days after viewing one of four social marketing advertisements. Results indicated that young drivers’ average driving speeds were modestly reduced immediately after they viewed an anti-speeding advertisement that depicted social consequences for speeding and employed a positive emotional appeal when compared to an emotion-matched control advertisement; however, this effect was not found for the anti-speeding advertisement depicting a crash. Interestingly, the results based on reported intentions to reduce speeding predicted the opposite pattern of results. However, there was no evidence that the immediate changes to speeding were maintained 7–10 days later, and prompts during Phase 2 did not appear to have an effect. The implications of these findings for road safety advertisements targeting young drivers are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-74
    Number of pages10
    JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


    • Advertising
    • Emotional appeals
    • Road safety
    • Social threats
    • Young drivers


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