Think! Road Safety: Test your powers of observation with the Driving Challenge

6 Jun

There’s a lot of great digital work coming out of AMV BBDO at the moment, but I’m especially proud of the Driving Challenge viral we have just launched for Think! Road Safety – a remarkable project I have been involved in since my very first day here.

Just over a year on from the introduction of the tough new penalty of three penalty points and a £60 fine for using a mobile phone whilst driving, the Driving Challenge directly builds upon a film made by the University of Illinois 10 years ago which demonstrates the psychological principle of ‘inattentional blindness’. Essentially, the interactive game uses this concept to demonstrate that your driving is impaired when talking on a mobile phone, either hand held or hands free. In fact, the game reveals that if you use your mobile phone whilst driving, you are four times more likely to crash! Its whole aim is to encourage drivers to be more vigilant. If you haven’t come across this phenomenon before, I can’t tell you too much without giving it all away, so I encourage you to take the test here.

Some of you more industry savvy readers will probably have come across WCRS’ similar ad for TFL – This is aimed at protecting cyclists rather than mobile phone safety, but essentially both ideas are based on the same psychological phenomenon. There is a fair bit of controversy surrounding this ad within our industry – a glimpse of this debate is over at Scamp blog here. Its not all too surprising that there are two creative ideas about road safety based on this same principle: all road safety communications boil down in some shape or form to mental focus and to paying more attention to the road, and this is also what underpins the psychological phenomena at the heart of the strategy for both pieces of communication.

The gorilla / basketball video is one piece of stimulus illustrating what is the best-known study on inattentional blindness, conducted by Daniel Simons of the University of Illinois, and Chris Chabris of Union College, whilst at Harvard in the late 1990s. The video is now widely used in interventions for traffic offenders and other training roles where it is important that people appreciate the limitations of the human brain. For more information and to see other videos relating to Professor Simons’ research, please visit this link. We worked closely with Dr. Burgess throughout this project, consulting him at each stage of development. His support was crucial in enabling us to develop the most effective and therefore behaviour-changing piece of communication possible. If the Driving Challenge and Do The Test even saves one life, then it’s worth the fury of the blogosphere.

Love it or loathe it, please share your thoughts here…

Oh yeah, should probably mention again – all the views expressed here are solely those of my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of AMV BBDO and/or our clients.

5 Responses to “Think! Road Safety: Test your powers of observation with the Driving Challenge”

  1. emersondirect June 6, 2008 at 6:23 pm #

    I thought that the moonwalking bear had a better delivery of the content. There were entirely too many people to count and thus I gave up even trying to associate the number with the shirt, and since I was struggling with that, I had forgotten to press the space bar after each question. I’d be curious to see how many people actually got the right number.

    Point taken though, multi-tasking in the car is impossible. and to think that some actually text while driving, boggles the mind.

  2. Pete July 16, 2010 at 4:30 am #

    great test for observation, keeping a running total of the number of points keeps you more than busy enough! 😀

  3. jason September 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    I only just managed to get the right number count but missed all the questions and the bunny lol 😦


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