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Who are we scaring with high fear road safety advertising campaigns?

Tay, Richard S.
Ozanne, Lucie
Journal Article
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::090507 Transport Engineering , ANZSRC::140217 Transport Economics
Despite decades of research with mixed results, fear-based public health campaigns continue to be extensively used around the world. This study examined the impact of a fearbased advertising campaign targeted at reducing unsafe driving behaviour and fatal accident rates in New Zealand. We argued that a campaign that used a strong appeal to the emotion of fear would be effective but only among some segments of the population. Using Poisson regression models, we found that fatal accident rates had been reduced among three groups of drivers: female drivers aged between 15 and 24, female drivers aged between 25 and 34, and male drivers aged between 35 and 54. However, the fatal crash rate of the main target audience of the campaign, young male drivers, has not been affected.
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