Sunday, November 12, 2023
A recent study about over 400,000 UK road accidents has suggested that drivers of luxury four-wheelers such as BMW, Subaru, and Porsche vehicles are statistically more likely to engage in risky or aggressive driving compared to those behind the wheels of Skoda or Hyundai.
The study has raised intriguing questions about the correlation between car brands and road safety. The study, published in the Journal of Social Marketing, prompts further investigation into the influence of car branding on driver behaviour.
Lead author Alan Tapp, a professor of social marketing at the University of the West of England, highlights the unexpected prevalence of aggressive driving among cars associated with marketing that seemingly celebrates high-performance driving.
The paper draws attention to the potential impact of advertising and marketing strategies that project an image of dominance on the road.
While the study acknowledges that aggressive drivers may choose specific car brands, it also raises the question of whether certain brands contribute to or exacerbate such behaviour through their marketing approaches.
The data reveals a higher frequency of risky actions among drivers of cars with advertising that emphasises performance driving, fostering a discussion on the intersection of road safety and modern marketing techniques.
Co-author Dan Campsall from road safety consultancy Agilysis underscores the mixed messages sent to drivers about expected behaviour while operating vehicles.
The study prompts consideration of whether manufacturers and regulators should reevaluate the potential adverse effects of modern marketing on road safety.
Despite these findings, industry representatives emphasise their commitment to safety. Car manufacturers argue that while technology advancements improve safety features, human behaviour remains a crucial factor.
The study, while shedding light on potential trends, is met with caution due to the complex interplay of various factors influencing driver behaviour on the roads.