Fifty percent of parents are below average: Investigating the roles parents play in their children’s road safety.
There are 260,000 children killed each year (and 10 million injured) as a result of crashes in all countries, and young drivers are over-represented in crashes across developed countries. There is therefore increasing interest in the potential for parents to play an active role in risk-reduction strategies and in the possibility of using parental involvement as an adjunct to other interventions, but little information available about how parents are currently involved in safety related activities with their children. This paper summarises key results from a survey of that aimed to assess their current role in relation to road safety issues. The on-line survey collected data from a sample of 328 parents with children in four situations—young children, pre-learner teenagers, learner drivers, and probationary drivers. The results indicated that it was possible to identify groups of parents who were low-level and high-level users of road safety information and materials, and that low-level users of information and other material were generally disconnected from involvement in road safety issues of concern to their children. The paper discusses the implications of the results for future interventions.