Changing people's attitudes and beliefs toward driving through floodwaters: Evaluation of a video infographic
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Despite awareness of campaigns such as ‘Turn Around, Don't Drown’ and the Australian state of Queensland's ‘If It's Flooded, Forget It’, people continue to drive through floodwaters, causing loss of life, risk to rescuers, and damage to vehicles. The aim of this study was to develop a video infographic that highlights the dangers of driving through floodwaters and provide safety tips to reduce the risk, and to evaluate its effectiveness in changing the beliefs and intentions of Australian adults toward this risky driving behaviour. This study adopted an online three-wave non-controlled pretest–posttest design. Australian licensed drivers (N = 201, male = 41, female = 160; M age = 34.10) self-reported their demographic and psychological variables (intention, attitude, subjective norm, barrier self-efficacy, risk perception, anticipated regret, perceived susceptibility, and perceived severity) at baseline (T1), immediately post-intervention (T2), and at a one-month follow-up (T3). Messages in the video infographic were developed based on psychological theory and empirical evidence, using data on causal factors derived from coronial records and the findings of behavioural research. Results indicated that men had significantly higher intentions and attitudes and significantly lower barrier self-efficacy, risk perception, anticipated regret, perceived susceptibility, and perceived severity with respect to driving through floodwater than women. Statistically significant time x gender interaction effects were also found; attitude and subjective norm were significantly lower between T1 and T2 for both men and women but scores between T2 and T3 remained significantly lower for women only. In addition, perceived susceptibility and perceived severity scores were significantly higher in women across T1 and T2, with the difference maintained at T3. In contrast, there were no differences in scores across the three-time points for men. The implications of these findings for road safety and drowning prevention messages targeting drivers during floods are discussed.
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