Meta-analysis of the Effect of Road Safety Campaigns on Accidents

  • Published: Accident Analysis and Prevention, 43, 1204-1218, 2011
  • Authors: R.O. Phillips, P. Ulleberg, and T. Vaa
  • Date Added: 28 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 28 Mar 2013
  • Format: pdf


To determine the effectiveness of road safety campaigns, and to identify which factors describing the nature of the campaign message and how it is delivered) are associated with significant variation in campaign effect.


Meta-analysis and meta-regression. Sixty-seven studies were included in the meta-analysis.

Key Findings:

  • Road safety campaigns coincide with a 10 per cent reduction in accidents (or a 9 per cent reduction when controlling for publication bias and the variation in study outcomes between studies).

  • Campaign evaluations using drink-drive accidents as an outcome tend to report greater effects.

  • Most of the campaigns included in the analysis were accompanied by enforcement measures.

  • There appears to be a tendency for campaigns to have become less successful over time e.g. effects of campaigns in the 1980s had an overall accident reduction effect of 16 per cent, whilst campaigns in the 2000s had an overall accident reduction effect of 5 per cent.

  • Campaigns may be more effective in the short term if the message is delivered with personal communication in a way that is proximal in space and time to the behaviour targeted by the campaign.


Meta-analysis, meta-regression, campaigns, outcomes, effectiveness.


Uses statistical techniques to control for confounding factors.