Improving Safe Bicycling Behavior Among Children: The Evaluation of an Instrument for Evaluating Road Safety Education Courses
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Road Safety Education (RSE) courses, aimed at improving children’s safe bicycling behavior around trucks, need evaluation in order to ascertain their functionality. In the present study, a measuring instrument in the form of a computer game called “Risk Perception in Complex Situations Part A: Blind Spot” has been evaluated on its suitability for evaluating RSE courses concerning trucks in traffic. This was done by means of two studies. In study 1, scores on the game of 30 adults were compared to those of 324 children in the 8th grade of primary school. Findings suggest that the game can differentiate between bicyclists who tend to behave relatively safe (adults) and those who tend to behave relatively unsafe (children). Study 2 investigated whether the game could detect a change in safe bicycling behavior due to RSE. To this end, a pre- and a posttest with control group were performed among 66 children in total. The pre- and posttest consisted of playing the game, and RSE course “Veilig op Weg” formed the intervention for the experimental group. Findings suggest that the game is not capable of detecting a change in safe bicycling behavior due to an RSE course. Taken together, the results of both studies suggest that the game is in its present form not suitable for evaluating RSE courses. One of the most important suggestions made for further research is to identify bicyclist behaviors that lead to blind spot crashes.