Hey Guys, Slow Down! There is an over-representation of fatality and injury crashes with young men, ages 18–24, in Northeast Florida rural counties caused by speeding and lower seat belt usage. We aim to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries by increasing safety belt usage and reducing excessive speeding.
We want young male drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 to change how they think about speeding and realize it’s not worth the risk to their life or future. After interviewing this target audience in Northeast Florida, we established better insight into some barriers and behavioral determinants of excessive speeding. We found they drove excessively higher speeds than the posted limits more often on rural roadways.
Life is a highway made of more than asphalt and concrete, filled with cars and people. These streets connect us and make it possible to go places, be someone, and enjoy the benefits of life. The long and winding roads take us to our future.
If you don’t slow down and enjoy the journey, you may come to a dead end. Your family and friends would be devastated, and the world might never know what you could have been.
To help change this behavior, we have created a new safety message. The core idea is to save your life and protect your future. We need community outreach and connection to encourage slowing down. Our new graphic with country-styled belt buckles that say “Buckle-Up” and “Slow Down” with the message: Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride… safely to reach your destiny. We want young male drivers to feel it’s okay not to be the fastest on the road.
Slow Down – District Two Market Research
Levy and Suwanee are two counties in Northeast Florida with a population under 44,000. Comparing these counties with other similarly sized counties in Florida, they are ranked most problematic (#1 and #3) in the issues of both speed and teen drivers per the FY2024 Highway Safety Matrix.
Examples of why speeding among young male drivers on rural roads is a problem include:
- Limited law enforcement presence
- Roadway characteristics – curvature, grade, width, and adjacent land use
- Delayed EMS response times
- Pickup trucks are more likely to roll over, especially when significantly altered/lifted; they are top-heavy
- NHTSA 2020 Speeding Traffic Safety Facts – Thirty-five percent of male drivers in the 15- to 20-year-old age group involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were speeding, the highest among the age groups.
- GHSA Teens and Speeding – from 2015 to 2019, teen drivers and passengers (16 – 19 years of age) had a greater proportion of speeding-related fatalities (43%) than all other age groups. Men were almost twice as likely as women to say that they drove at extreme speeds much more often than normal.
- Speeding-related teen driver fatal crashes – the driver is more likely to be male (37% vs. 28%), have run off the road or rolled over the vehicle, and to be unbelted.
- Male drivers in every age group account for the greatest proportion of fatal crashes involving speeding.
- NTSB – The relationship between speed and injury severity is consistent and direct.
- NHTSA – Drivers classified as speeders were almost three times as likely as sometime speeders to strongly agree with the statements, “I often get impatient with slower drivers” (45% versus 18%), “I enjoy the feeling of driving fast” (19% versus 6%), and “I try to get where I am going as fast as I can” (11% versus 3%).
Insight – Younger male drivers enjoy excessive speeding in rural areas without regard to safety or the law. Barriers and behavioral determinants:
- Personable responsibility and self-protection
- Driving over the speed limit is not dangerous for skilled drivers (male dominant attitude)
- Hustle mentality
- Traveling with the flow of traffic (everyone speeds)
- Enjoy driving faster
- Not predetermined, in-the-moment decisions to speed