The Efficacy of Young Driver
Interventions
Lauren Weston, Plymouth University
Dr Liz Hellier, Plymouth University
Nigel Flower, Devon County Council
The Young Driver Problem
• One in five young drivers crash within 6 months
of passing their test (DfT, 2008).
• UK road deaths account for 0.5% of all deaths,
but 25% of deaths amongst 15 – 19 year olds (Box
& Wengraf, 2013).
Risk Factors
• At night and over the weekend
• Peer passengers
• Not wearing seat belts
• Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Single vehicle events
• Speeding
• Driver error
• Young males
(Box & Wengraf, 2013)
How do we solve the problem
• Education & Training
• Interactive, multi-agency programmes.
• Launchbury et al (2007) – 122 out of 173 road
safety teams had pre-driver initiative in place.
But do they work?
• Implemented in most UK counties.
• Very few formal evaluations.
• Launchbury (2007) – only 55% respondents had
information to support intervention
effectiveness.
Example (1)
• Poulter & McKenna (2010) – Safe Drive Stay Alive
- 15-and-16-year-old pre-drivers
- Measured attitudes to road safety pre-event, post-event and five
months later.
- Some improvement in attitudes immediately post-intervention.
- After five months this effect much reduced.
Example (2)
• Deighton & Luther (2007) – Scottish Executive New
Driver Project
- 17-21-year-old learner drivers.
- Group 1: formal tuition and private practice
- Group 2: as G1, with pre-driver training
- Group 3: as G1, with post-test training
- Nine months post-test no difference in attitudes, knowledge or
intentions to drive safely.
- Target attitudes before adolescents learn to drive.
Lack of Evidence
• Large number of pre-driver interventions available.
• Very few evaluations of sufficient scientific quality can
be found (Kinnear et al, 2014).
• Results will justify expenditure.
• McKenna (2010): It is not that “… no educational
initiatives can work, but rather that the evidence must
be provided”.
Present Study: Purpose
• To evaluate the effectiveness of the Learn2Live
road safety intervention on pre-drivers’ selfreported attitudes and behavioural intentions to
behave safely as a passenger.
Present Study:
• For 16 – 18-year-olds in school.
• Delivered to 12,000 students per annum.
• Staged event - DVD of a collision, personal
experiences shared, risk factors highlighted.
Present Study: Design
• Two groups:
- Students attending intervention (DE)
- Students not attending intervention (CO)
• Two data collection points:
- Two weeks before intervention
- Three months post intervention
Present Study: Participants
Table 1. Total number of participants at each data collection point, split by group.
Group
DE
CO
Time 1 Responses (N)
780
272
Time 2 Responses (N)
154
66
Final Male:Female (N)
64: 90
21: 45
• Considerable loss at follow-up.
• Considerable number of incomplete responses.
Present Study: Measures
• Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB)(Ajzen,
1991).
- Attitudes towards risky driving
- 6 TPB components: behavioural intentions, perceived
behavioural control, behavioural beliefs, social norms
of friends, social norms of family, and regret.
Present Study: Hypotheses
1. Learn2Live attendees would report a significant
decrease in risky attitudes and behavioural
intentions from time 1 to time 2.
2. The control group i.e. those not attending a road
safety event, would not demonstrate any significant
decrease in risky attitudes and intentions from time
1 to time 2.
Present Study: Results
Figure 1. Mean attitude scores for male participants
at time 1 and time 2, split by group: intervention or
control.
Figure 2: Mean attitude scores for female participants at
time 1 and time 2, split by group: intervention or
control.
There was a significant interaction found between group, gender and time F(1, 216)
= 19.6, p< .001. There were significant main effects found for group F(1, 216) =
64.3, p< .001, gender F(1, 216) = 19.5, p< .001 and time (F(1, 216) = 93.5, p< .001.
Present Study: Results (2)
Figure 3: Mean behavioural intentions scores for
male participants at time 1 and time 2, split by
group: intervention or control.
Figure 4: Mean behavioural intentions scores for
female participants at time 1 and time 2, split by
group: intervention or control.
There was a significant interaction found between group, gender and time F(1, 216) =
25.4, p< .001. There were significant main effects found for group F(1, 216) = 82.7, p<
.001, gender F(1, 216) = 18.8, p< .001 and time F(1, 216) = 111.1, p< .001.
Conclusions
• Much safer attitudes and intentions three months
post-intervention.
• Females showed biggest improvement.
• Control group showed no improvement.
• Learn2live improves young people’s, in particular
young females, attitudes towards risky driving and
intentions to behave safely as a passenger.
Future Directions
• Unclear how the intentions of a pre driver will
translate into actual behaviour once on the road.
• Associations between Learn2Live and subsequent
collision rates now needed.
• Evaluations of pre-driver initiatives essential.
Acknowledgements
We thank Devon County Council for their
encouragement and helpful cooperation in the
undertaking of this evaluation; in particular Nigel
Flower and Jeremy Phillips.
We also thank all the schools who contributed
considerable time and effort in ensuring their students
took part in this evaluation.
References
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behaviour. Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes,
50, 179 – 211.
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from http://www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/youngdriver
_safety-box_wengraf-july2013.pdf.
Deighton, C. & Luther, R. (2007). Pre-driver Education: A Critical Review of the Literature on Attitude
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