Refraction Education : NRMA Driver Safety (Years 11-12)
42 THE EARLY DRIVER TOTAL LEARNING RESOURCE • YEARS 11–12 ELABORATE 1. Read and revise 2. Read and relate 3. Read and review Scientific procedure – PDHPE, Maths and Physics How good are you at judging distance? To find out, see Activity 1. Collect some data on driver distraction by carrying out Activity 2. Design and carry out a survey of new drivers to gather data on the types of risk-taking behaviours they have exhibited, and the reasons for taking those risks. Check your survey for: simple language, unambiguous questions, consideration of number of choices, issues of privacy and ethics, and freedom from bias. Write up your findings as a full scientific report. In your discussion include suggestions on: any faults in the data collection process, such as sampling or measurement errors; possible misinterpretation of the question; how to reduce risk taking when driving. Identify dependent and independent variables. Science philosophy Should the most inexperienced drivers be driving the least safe cars? Write down your thoughts on this question before sharing your ideas with the rest of the class. Do you think all of the new driving and road rules for L and P plater drivers are necessary? Choose a rule that you read about in the articles and discuss why you think it has been put in place and whether you think it is necessary. What effect do you think the rule will have on overall road safety? Are all crashes preventable? Have a debate-style discussion of human, vehicle and roadside errors that lead to crashes in order to determine whether or not it is possible to eliminate all crashes. What do your findings mean in relation to driver responsibility? Being creative with science Create a pamphlet, website or skit to communicate to new drivers how they can improve their safety on the road. Choose an old car and a new car and design an individual advert for each using the safety features as the main selling points. Imagine you and a classmate are science communicators and want to demonstrate to students the dangers of tailgating when driving a car. Have one person walking behind the other while the person walking in front randomly stops or changes direction suddenly. Repeat the activity with both of you running. Show how it is more dangerous the faster you go. Science time travel Interview an older relative, such a parent or grandparent, about their experience as a young driver. Are there mistakes they made and regretted? How did they manage to avoid crashes? Write their stories up so they can be added to a class poster about what new drivers can learn from experienced drivers to keep themselves safe on the roads. Choose a couple of safety features of a family car, such as seatbelts, airbags, tyres, or others of your choice, and use secondary research sources to create a timeline of the development and addition of these features into cars. Invent a new safety feature for the family car of the future. Who will the safety feature protect – the driver, the backseat passengers? How will the safety feature work? Make a drawing or build a model of your design to show how it will help reduce injury and/or death for individuals travelling by car. ‘Me’ the scientist You are a psychologist working with young drivers to help them resist the negative influence of peer pressure when they are at the wheel. Brainstorm responses to the following comments: “I dare you to overtake that truck on the double white line!” and “Can you drive me home? I know you are drunk, but I can’t get home any other way.” You are a chemist studying the effects of alcohol on young drivers and need to design a workshop to teach them how to calculate their own blood alcohol content (BAC) using their body weight, number of standard drinks and time over which the alcohol is consumed. See Activity 3. Imagine you are a research scientist being given the task of calculating the cost of safety. Choose two cars, an old one and a new one and compare the running costs by researching the price for registration, insurance, a loan for 50% of the value of the car. See Activity 4. Communicating with graphics Use NRMA data to graph and interpret crash statistics. See Activity 5. Draw a series of graphics of a car on a road that could be used on a poster to show how the speed of a car changes under the following conditions: 1) The driver is using the accelerator. 2) The driver is using the brake. 3) The car is driving uphill. 4) The car is driving downhill. 5) The car is moving over a large patch. of ice on the road. Walk around your local area and assess it for safety signs that inform drivers of road hazards or dangerous areas. Identify a place on the road where drivers could even further improve their safety and create a brand new road sign design to warn drivers. Keep the message on the sign informative but obvious.
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