"My mother would freak out" : understanding the influence of parents on the risky behaviour of their young novice drivers

Scott-Parker, Bridie, Watson, Barry C., King, Mark J., & Hyde, Melissa K. (2013) "My mother would freak out" : understanding the influence of parents on the risky behaviour of their young novice drivers. In Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference 2013, 28-30 August 2013, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, QLD.

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Parents can influence the driving behaviour of their young novice drivers in a variety of ways. Research was undertaken to explore and identify the nature and mechanisms of parental influence upon novice drivers (16-25 years) to inform the design of more effective young driver countermeasures.


The mechanisms and nature of parental influence on young novice drivers were explored in small group interviews (n = 21) and three surveys (n1 = 761, n2 = 1170, n3 = 390) in a larger Queensland-wide study. Surveys two and three were part of a six-month longitudinal study.


Parental influence appeared to occur across the pre-Licence, Learner, and Provisional (intermediate) periods. The most risky novice drivers (in terms of pre-Licence driving, unsupervised driving while a Learner, and risky driving behaviours such as speeding) reported that their parents were less likely to punish risky driving, and that their parents – who they were more likely to imitate – were also risky drivers (indicated by crashes and offences).


Parents appear influential in the risky behaviour of young novice drivers. Interventions enhancing their positive influence may improve road safety outcomes not only for young novice drivers, but for all persons who share the road with them. Among the interventions warranting further development and evaluation are programs to encourage the modelling of safe driving behaviour by parents; continued parental monitoring of driving during the pre-Licence, Learner and Provisional periods (e.g., Checkpoints program); and sharing the family vehicle during the first six months of independent licensure.

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ID Code: 62266
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: risky driving behaviours, young novice drivers, parental influence
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
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 2012 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 02 Oct 2013 01:29
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2013 05:42

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