Survey Finds Social Pressure Successful at Encouraging Safe Driving

New survey research conducted by the Montana Department of Transportation shows that social pressure is an effective tool in encouraging others to drive safely. The 2016 survey explored public attitudes toward this more indirect traffic “safety citizenship” approach and found that:

  • Half of survey respondents had been in a situation in the past year when someone was unbuckled or reading or texting while driving.
  • More than half of this group who were in a situation to intervene did so.
  • Intervention was more likely among close social groups (e.g., family and friends) than with acquaintances or strangers.
  • Most people had favorable attitudes and beliefs about intervening, and those that did intervene think it’s a common practice.

The findings suggest an opportunity to promote safety citizenship by providing likely interveners with greater confidence, tools to speak up and a supportive social environment in which intervention is the norm. Access the project summary here and the full report here.