ERIC Number: ED222634
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Accident Journalism and Traffic Safety Education: A Three-Phase Investigation of Accident Reporting in the Canadian Daily Press.
Wilde, Gerald J. S.; Ackersviller, Melody J.
A study examined the potential for development of a traffic accident-reporting form in the Canadian daily press that strengthens concern for road safety in the general population and enhances knowledge, attitudes, and behavior leading to greater safety. The investigation was conducted on three levels: a content analysis, a readership analysis, and a field experiment of a modified accident-reporting style. First, 12 daily newspapers in Ontario and Quebec were investigated on the manner in which they reported on traffic accidents. Very small percentages of accidents that actually occurred with little information on causes were found to be reported. Secondly, telephone interviews with 392 holders of valid driver's licenses in Kingston, Ontario, yielded data on motivations and reactions to the reading of traffic accident reports in the daily paper. Thirdly, a prototype of a more educational accident journalism was developed and implemented by the daily newspaper in Kingston; Belleville served as control. After 8 weeks structured telephone interviews with approximately 1200 licensed drivers showed significant changes in people's opinions of accident reporting, in their perceptions of the magnitude of the accident problem and traffic accident risks, and in the attribution of accident causes. (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ministry of Transport, Ottawa (Ontario). Traffic Safety Branch.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Canada; Ontario; Quebec