Dr Fiona Fylan
Reader in Psychology
Leeds Metropolitan University
Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy or
Happy: Making the Speeder
Snow White
Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, or Happy:
Making the speeder Snow White
Fiona Fylan, Reader in Health Psychology
Leeds Metropolitan University
Beth Fylan Gwynn & Lauren Caveney
Brainbox Research
What influences speed?
Are all speeding drivers the same?
• Unaware of the limit
• Underestimate speed
• Lapse of attention
• Perceive themselves as safe and skilled.
• Believe they speed only a little over the
• Speed less frequently than high
• Don’t experience pleasure from
• Aware they drive faster and they’re at
increased risk but believe they are safe.
• More positive attitude to speeding and
they speed more frequently.
• Experience more pleasure and
emotional outlet from driving.
• Report more crashes/violations.
• Know their speed is dangerous: they enjoy
taking risks and breaking rules.
• More likely to drive dangerously and
break the law in other ways.
• Younger, high on psychoticism and
thrill seeking, low on neuroticism.
• Some “grow out if it” by age 26.
Making the speeders
Snow White
Integrated driver model (Fylan 2011)
27 Driver BCTs (Fylan and Stradling)
Feeling Good
Does the speed
awareness course
achieve its objectives?
How and why
does it do so?
Survey with
2070 clients
15 providers
Six focus
13 females,
15 males
4 providers, 2
course types
Data collection and analysis
• Random selection of clients invited to participate in focus
• They had attended a course 3-12 months previously.
• Focus groups lasted around 90 minutes.
• We took a critical realist approach and undertook an
inductive thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006)
• One researcher coded the data and a subset of the
transcripts were analysed independently by a second
researcher. All three researchers reviewed the themes.
Intentions to comply with speed
No such shift in intentions for speed offenders
in areas where there are no courses.
Giving insight
Enabling application
advantages of
own driving
skills in
identifying limits
own pressures
driving tips
need for speed
limits of
become an
Challenging attitudes:
advantages of speeding
He [the tutor] said about if you drive, say if you’re driving
to work and you break the speed limit, that it was just a
few minutes that you gained, it was so little. I think that
as well, there was no point in speeding, just for a minute,
what’s the point? You know, so that stuck in my mind.
He just said “If you drive within the limit you can forget
about speed cameras, it doesn’t matter, they’re
irrelevant”, and that was the bit I picked up. So I try and
drive within the speed limit and within the appropriate
speed in the conditions, you know. [FG4]
But it’s not all good news
I think because we are not bad drivers we speed
responsibly, in other words that you’re still very aware
of what you’re doing: you’re not on the phone or
texting or with no seatbelt on or driving recklessly
when there’s parked cars, you’re not doing 40
slaloming round. It’s speeding responsibly which means
you’re doing slightly over the limit but you feel safe and
confident and responsible still at that speed. I don’t
think any of us have been going so fast that we’re not
in control. [FG1]
Challenging attitudes:
driving environment
I think it was a lot of the statistics that
they used and, you know, the
mortality rates on roads that are
round where we live that you would
never have realised that it was that
high, and it was like – God! [FG6]
I remember the sheets we had had
pictures and you had to come up with all
the different hazards and whatever else
that were on there and it was good
working together. [FG1]
Challenging attitudes:
need for speed limits
When I notice that I’m going 35 or
something in a 30 mile limit I just
slow down whereas before I
thought it doesn’t matter, it’s not
that fast. [FG2]
The thing that made a really big difference to my
thinking was looking at the mortality rate at the
speed you are travelling and how much it comes
up between 30 and 40, I mean there is a really
good reason why you should stick to 30, I mean
most people there have been caught doing a little
bit over 30, that was the case for me, there is a
really good reason to stay below 30 because the
mortality rate group just shoots up exponentially
between those two speeds and that really pound
it home for me. [FG5]
Giving insight: own driving
I must admit before I tended to drive a lot, unfortunately, under remote control,
you just get into the car and you drive and you think nothing of it, in fact you’re
not even concentrating on what you’re doing. That’s the danger, you just become
very over-confident in your abilities, so it has opened my yes. [FG4]
It gives you the time to reflect, to have
some time to reflect on things and discuss
things in an adult way. [FG3]
It does make you think “Where else
am I speeding?” You know, it brings it
home to you that you’re obviously
doing it without even realising that
you’re doing it. [FG5]
Giving insight: own pressures
It’s that mentality, isn’t it: you’ve got to be in front, got to be in
front, got to be in front. I just sit back now. My drives to work are
far more relaxed now than they ever used to be. I just watch
people go by: just like “You get on with it – I’m not getting to work
stressed”. [FG 1]
Things happen when you have to speed, like when you’re on the
motorway and you’re overtaking and they suddenly speed up, what do
you do? There are certain types of situation where at one time it would
be foot down. You know, I’d race against the clock at one time, but now I
don’t. [FG2]
Giving insight: limit to knowledge
It was quite shocking, how little you
know, personally, how little of those
road signs I was aware of, what they
really meant. [FG3]
I thought I knew everything but
I didn’t; I knew very little. [FG2]
Enabling application: skills in
identifying limits
He [the tutor] highlighted different speed limits and just like going down a
country lane with no street lights I would have been looking for signs to say what
the speed limit is if I hadn’t noticed at the beginning it was a national speed limit
but he told me that if there’s not street lighting and no repeaters it’s
automatically a national speed limit. There was a lot of information that he gave
me that I found very useful and it has made me a lot more aware of speeds and
where the signs are to see what speeds you should be at. [FG5]
Enabling application: driving tips
I think I drove so fast ‘cos I’m a bit bored, just want to get there
quickly. Now I’ve got something else to concentrate on while I am
driving like reading the road ahead, thinking about the speed
limit, thinking about what the dangers are. I’m much more
engaged with the activity and I am gong to do it better and I like
to do things well, so that appealed to me. [FG3]
I sort of drive down the road and I see things and
it prompts back to perhaps something I’ve
remembered from the course, you know even sort
of writing in the road and such. And you see other
people making mistakes and you think “You’re
doing that wrong.” You sort of become very critical
of other people. [FG6]
Enabling application:
becoming an advocate
I’ve sat in a car with my partner many a time and
said “Do you know this?” and he’s like “I feel like
I’ve been on the course.” [FG6]
I always find now that I stay a lot further away from
cars, and even if I’m sat in my girlfriend’s car I’m like
“What’s the need for that? Get back!” [FG4]
• Theory-led, evidence-based behavioural change
interventions can change how people (intend to and
report they) drive.
• The NDORS Speed Awareness Course increases
intentions to drive within the speed limit by challenging
attitudes, giving insight, and enabling application.
• Interventions should be designed using BCTs so that the
“active ingredients” are defined and that delivery is
• BCTs can help us build an evidence base about how best
to change driver behaviour.
Thank You
Dr Fiona Fylan
Reader in Psychology
Leeds Metropolitan University
[email protected]
Beth Fylan Gwynn, Lauren Caveney
Brainbox Research, 0113 238 0157
[email protected]

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