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Mileage, car ownership, experience of punishment avoidance and the risky driving of young drivers

Scott-Parker, Bridie, Watson, Barry C., King, Mark J., & Hyde, Melissa K. (2011) Mileage, car ownership, experience of punishment avoidance and the risky driving of young drivers. Traffic Injury Prevention, 12(6), pp. 559-567.

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Abstract

Objective: Young drivers are at greatest risk of injury or death from a car crash in the first six months of independent driving. In Queensland, the graduated driver licensing (GDL) program was extensively modified in July 2007 in order to reduce this risk. Increased mileage and car ownership have been found to play a role in risky driving, offences and crashes; however GDL programs typically do not consider these variables. In addition, young novice drivers’ experiences of punishment avoidance have not previously been examined. The paper explores the mileage (duration and distance), car ownership and punishment avoidance behaviour of young newly-licensed intermediate (Provisional) drivers and their relationship with risky driving, crashes and offences.

Methods: Drivers (n = 1032) aged 17-19 years recruited from across Queensland for longitudinal research completed Survey 1 exploring pre-licence and Learner experiences and sociodemographic characteristics. Survey 2 explored the same variables with a subset of these drivers (n = 341) after they had completed their first six months of independent driving.

Results: Most young drivers in Survey 2 reported owning a vehicle and paying attention to Police presence. Drivers who had their own car reported significantly greater mileage and more risky driving. Novices who drove more kilometres, spent more hours each week driving, or avoided actual and anticipated Police presence were more likely to report risky driving. These drivers were also more likely to report being detected by Police for a driving-related offence. The media, parents, friends and other drivers play a pivotal role in informing novices of on-road Police enforcement operations.

Conclusions: GDL programs should incorporate education for the parent and novice driver regarding the increased risks associated with greater driving particularly where the novices own a vehicle. Parents should be encouraged to delay exclusive access to a vehicle for the novice driver. Parents should also consider whether their young novice will deliberately avoid Police if they tell them their location. This may reinforce not only the risky behaviour but also the young novice’s beliefs that their parents condone this behaviour.

Impact and interest:

12 citations in Scopus
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10 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 45962
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Young drivers, Novice, Risky driving, Car ownership, Police, Exposure
DOI: 10.1080/15389588.2011.621000
ISSN: 1538-9588
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
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 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an electronic version of an article published in [Traffic Injury Prevention, (2011)]. [Traffic Injury Prevention] is available online at informaworld.
Deposited On: 14 Sep 2011 08:36
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2012 09:49

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