Investigating perceived control over negative road outcomes: Implications for theory and risk communication
Keywords: Extended Parallel Process Model, Road Safety Advertising, Control Perceptions, Efficacy, Threat Appeal, Fear Appeal
Submission Date: August 10, 2017 Journal
Suggested Citation: Pedruzzi, R., Swinbourne, A., & Quirk, F. (2017). Investigating perceived control over negative road outcomes: Implications for theory and risk communication. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 28(3), 30-42.
Road safety advertising in Australia is largely based on the assumption that more fear results in greater persuasion. As such, the portrayal of violent road crashes remains the status quo. The current research aimed to investigate if individuals perceive they can influence such outcomes, as theory suggests that efficacy perceptions are central to fear appeal success. Results from two studies demonstrated that participants believed their behaviours would influence financial and point penalty outcomes but not the occurrence of road crashes. This research demonstrates why the portrayal of car crash outcomes in road safety messages needs to be reconsidered.