How do we get safer roads?

Recently, I saw an article posted on facebook. It was an open letter to drivers from a mother who, along with her family,  had suffered a great tragedy. It tells a very sad story of how her life was changed in an instant. It’s the type of story that stays with you for a while, and one that certainly encourages drivers to be more careful.

Now, over the years, there’s been some great ads asking people to drive more safely. Take this one for example:

Ads for safer driving have used shock, logic, ridicule and a range of other methods to try and achieve their objective. However, many lack the most important thing – timing. Ads are most effective at the point of decision, whether it’s standing in the supermarket aisle, or sitting behind the wheel of a car.

So, why haven’t we built this messaging in as a mandatory feature on vehicles that are registered for use on our roads? For example:

  • At the moment, some cars have little speed alerts that beep when you  exceed the speed limit. A ‘beep’ isn’t very emotional. What if we re-jigged this feature so a small transparent image of your loved ones projected onto the windscreen? That would add a reason why you shouldn’t be speeding rather than just telling you not to.
  • What if a car’s radio was fitted with a voice-recording that asked you to consider your family and the families of others? It could be triggered if you exceeded the speed limit.
  • What if mobile phones reminded you not to answer while you’re driving? Instead of ringing with your normal tone, the GPS sensor would detect that you were moving at a certain speed, so would simply announce that somebody is trying to call you, but it’s best not to answer it until you pull over.

Now, I know that the ultimate responsibility rests with the individual, but if we could provide a few more ways to help people drive safely (or barriers to stop them driving unsafely), it can only be a good thing.

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