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May 14, 2024
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Discussing road safety with your young adult

Discussing road safety with your young adult

Merely increasing awareness about the dangers seems ineffective with young people because it seems that many adolescents are already cognisant of the risks associated with reckless driving.


Your young adult is probably excited to take the car out for a spin after passing their L's but merely increasing awareness about the dangers seems ineffective with young people because it seems that many adolescents are already cognisant of the risks associated with reckless driving.

People aged 20-24 years also had the highest adjudication rate of all age groups for dangerous or negligent driving. The rate for men of this age (712 adjudications per 100,000) was about seven times higher than that for women (97 per 100,000) (Australian Bureau Statistics). However, there are several research papers have found that in general fear appeals as way to educate your adult do not necessarily lead to positive behaviour change.

Here are few things that you can do to kick-start the conversation:

Open Dialogue:

Create a space for open dialogue where young adults feel comfortable discussing road safety without judgment. Encourage questions and listen actively to their concerns. Set clear expectations and boundaries regarding driving behavior, such as curfews, passenger limits, and zero-tolerance for alcohol and drug use while driving.

Provide Information:

Offer factual information about road safety, including statistics, real-life examples, and the consequences of risky behaviours. Present this information in a non-threatening manner, focusing on education rather than instilling fear.

Focus on Skills Development:

Emphasise the importance of developing driving skills and responsible decision-making on the road. Offer practical tips for safe driving, such as maintaining a safe following distance, avoiding distractions, and obeying traffic laws.

Lead by Example:

Be a role model by practicing safe driving habits yourself. 97% of young drivers said that they had seen a driver use their phone behind the wheel and over half had been in a car with a driver using their phone (RoadSense Organisation). Young adults are more likely to adopt responsible behaviours if they see trusted adults demonstrating them consistently.

Encourage Responsibility:

Empower young adults to take responsibility for their actions on the road. Discuss the potential impact of their decisions not only on themselves but also on others, including passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers. This could also be making sure that they call their friends out if they see them engaging in possible reckless acts. Promote the idea that looking out for each other's safety is a sign of friendship and respect.

Highlight Positive Outcomes:

Instead of focusing solely on the negative consequences of unsafe driving, highlight the positive outcomes of responsible behaviour. Discuss how safe driving habits can protect lives, prevent accidents, and lead to a more enjoyable driving experience.

Offer Support:

Let young adults know that you're there to support them as they navigate the challenges of driving safely. Offer resources such as driving courses, informational materials, and support networks to help them develop confidence and competence behind the wheel. Discuss the impacts of Hoon Driving and what they can do about it as well. Ensure that young adults have access to support systems, such as family, friends, counselors, and driving mentors, who can offer guidance and encouragement as they navigate the challenges of responsible driving.

    By approaching road safety discussions from an educational and trust-based perspective, you can empower young adults to make informed decisions and prioritize safety on the road. If they witness an immediate and serious threat to public safety, such as an accident or a situation that requires urgent intervention, call Triple Zero (000) immediately. Instil confidence in them to make an anonymous Crime Stoppers report online or call 1800 333 000 if they see dangerous acts occurring as well.

    Get Police Assistance

    For all emergencies and immediate Police assistance
    Call: 000
    To report non-urgent crimes or events 24 hours a day
    Call: 131 444
    To report information about a crime contact Crime Stoppers on
    1800 333 000

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