Educating motorists is a major concern for industrially developed countries and, even more so, for emerging countries, which pay a heavy price for their high incidence of road accidents.
According to a study by the WHO (World Health Organization), over 90 % of road accident deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries only account for 48 % of the number of cars worldwide. According to the latest global study (WHO, 2013), road accidents are the first cause of mortality for 15-29 year-olds and the second cause for 5-14 year-olds.
Education, teaching, training and information are without doubt the most effective means with which to tackle this problem. No matter how good the roads, vehicles and emergency services, they can only limit the damage caused if the driver breaks speed limits, ignores signs, doesn’t fasten his seat-belt or drives while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
For this reason, governments and road safety experts throughout the world are working to change driver behavior, raise awareness and enhance caution, and instill good practices. To do this, they rely on a wide range of resources, from driving test preparation to national road safety campaigns, via operations targeted at one particular category of population, always using the latest media resources and new technology.
More and more often, once these campaigns have run their course, studies are carried out to determine how effective they have been and to identify and roll out best practices on a national or continental scale. In Australia, for example, the Center for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) carried out a study into best practices within road safety mass media campaigns. The European Union has also run a large number of comparative studies.
In order to reach motorists who, like most citizens, are subjected to a multitude of messages, some of them contradictory, every single day, it is vital that the major players in road safety issues coordinate their initiatives and share their experiences on the most effective means of communication and training.