The students at Lockerbie Academy class S3 in Scotland have seen too many traffic accidents in their area! They share what they learned in the “Be a Road Safety Investigator” course about which cars are the safest, and why.
When a TV programme about the problems of rural roads was based on the very roads around Lockerbie Academy, the students in class S3 and their teachers knew they had to do something – and they are. Thanks to a grant from The Royal Society, they’ve been able to invite the ‘Be a Road Crash Investigator’ programme to come to their school. Through this programme, which teaches about road safety by re-creating car accidents and making students into the investigators, the students would gather valuable road safety insight and information. They decided they would develop an awareness raising campaign to share what they learn, but road safety is such a broad topic that they first wanted to narrow down their message.
The students discussed various road safety issues, like speed, environmental friendliness and the different issues of living in a rural area. But they were most interested in one topic in particular - what makes a safe car. They concluded that when students think of cars, they think of speed, design and kudos - but never consider safety. Furthermore, young drivers can rarely afford cars that have a high safety rating, as the costs and insurance are often too expensive. The students decided that this would be the basis of their communication campaign.
The group appreciated that the “Be a Road Safety Investigator” programme provided them with lots of great information and insight that they would later be able to share with others. For example, they completed the Tart Ma Kart project from the Institute of Physics, where the students had to produce and design a crumple zone for the front of the car using special high-tech materials. Most students chose materials that would actually make the crash worse, as they caused bouncing. Only one group made a successful crumple zone.
The students are currently discussing their thoughts on this experience and creating an informational display and presentation to share with the community. They are also researching safe cars and learning about the different important safety features. In the presentation, they will include their findings from the many discussions they have had on the topic of safe cars.
All of this will have the final aim to share a very important message – that the type of car you drive could affect whether you survive an accident, so choose carefully!