Speeding by young novice drivers : what can personal characteristics and psychosocial theory add to our understanding?

Scott-Parker, Bridie, Hyde, Melissa K., Watson, Barry, & King, Mark J. (2013) Speeding by young novice drivers : what can personal characteristics and psychosocial theory add to our understanding? Accident Analysis and Prevention, 50, pp. 242-250.

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Purpose: Young novice drivers continue to be overrepresented in fatalities and injuries arising from crashes even with the introduction of countermeasures such as graduated driver licensing (GDL). Enhancing countermeasures requires a better understanding of the variables influencing risky driving. One of the most common risky behaviours performed by drivers of all ages is speeding, which is particularly risky for young novice drivers who, due to their driving inexperience, have difficulty in identifying and responding appropriately to road hazards. Psychosocial theory can improve our understanding of contributors to speeding, thereby informing countermeasure development and evaluation. This paper reports an application of Akers’ social learning theory (SLT), augmented by Gerrard and Gibbons’ prototype/willingness model (PWM), in addition to personal characteristics of age, gender, car ownership, and psychological traits/states of anxiety, depression, sensation seeking propensity and reward sensitivity, to examine the influences on self-reported speeding of young novice drivers with a Provisional (intermediate) licence in Queensland, Australia.

Method: Young drivers (n = 378) recruited in 2010 for longitudinal research completed two surveys containing the Behaviour of Young Novice Drivers Scale, and reported their attitudes and behaviours as pre-Licence/Learner (Survey 1) and Provisional (Survey 2) drivers and their sociodemographic characteristics.

Results: An Akers’ measurement model was created. Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed that (1) personal characteristics (PC) explained 20.3%; (2) the combination of PC and SLT explained 41.1%; and (3) the combination of PC, SLT and PWM explained 53.7% of variance in self-reported speeding. Whilst there appeared to be considerable shared variance, the significant predictors in the final model included gender, car ownership, reward sensitivity, depression, personal attitudes, and Learner speeding.

Conclusions: These results highlight the capacity for psychosocial theory to improve our understanding of speeding by young novice drivers, revealing relationships between previous behaviour, attitudes, psychosocial characteristics and speeding. The findings suggest multi-faceted countermeasures should target the risky behaviour of Learners, and Learner supervisors should be encouraged to monitor their Learners’ driving speed. Novice drivers should be discouraged from developing risky attitudes towards speeding.

Impact and interest:

14 citations in Scopus
13 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 49351
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: young driver, novice driver, speeding, social learning theory, prototype/willingness model
DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2012.04.010
ISSN: 0001-4575
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
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Accident Analysis & Prevention. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 50, January 2013, Pages 242–250. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2012.04.010
Deposited On: 19 Apr 2012 01:00
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2017 20:39

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