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European advanced driver training programs : reasons for optimism

Washington, Simon, Cole, Robert J., & Herbel, Susan B. (2011) European advanced driver training programs : reasons for optimism. IATSS Research, 34(2), pp. 72-79.

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Abstract

Post license advanced driver training programs in the US and early programs in Europe have often failed to accomplish their stated objectives because, it is suspected, that drivers gain self perceived driving skills that exceed their true skills—leading to increased post training crashes. The consensus from the evaluation of countless advanced driver training programs is that these programs are a detriment to safety, especially for novice, young, male drivers.

Some European countries including Sweden, Finland, Austria, Luxembourg, and Norway, have continued to refine these programs, with an entirely new training philosophy emerging around 1990. These ‘post-renewal’ programs have shown considerable promise, despite various data quality and availability concerns. These programs share in common a focus on teaching drivers about self assessment and anticipation of risk, as opposed to teaching drivers how to master driving at the limits of tire adhesion. The programs focus on factors such as self actualization and driving discipline, rather than low level mastery of skills. Drivers are meant to depart these renewed programs with a more realistic assessment of their driving abilities. These renewed programs require considerable specialized and costly infrastructure including dedicated driver training facilities with driving modules engineered specifically for advanced driver training and highly structured curricula. They are conspicuously missing from both the US road safety toolbox and academic literature. Given the considerable road safety concerns associated with US novice male drivers in particular, these programs warrant further attention.

This paper reviews the predominant features and empirical evidence surrounding post licensing advanced driver training programs focused on novice drivers. A clear articulation of differences between the renewed and current US advanced driver training programs is provided. While the individual quantitative evaluations range from marginally to significantly effective in reducing novice driver crash risk, they have been criticized for evaluation deficiencies ranging from small sample sizes to confounding variables to lack of exposure metrics. Collectively, however, the programs sited in the paper suggest at least a marginally positive effect that needs to be validated with further studies. If additional well controlled studies can validate these programs, a pilot program in the US should be considered.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 39972
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Driver education, Motor vehicle safety, Advanced driver training programs, Insight based training, Teen drivers, Novice drivers
DOI: 10.1016/j.iatssr.2011.01.002
ISSN: 0386-1112
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Elsevier
Deposited On: 09 Feb 2011 08:05
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 00:37

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