PASSENGER INFLUENCES ON YOUNG DRIVER SAFETY: IMPLICATIONS FOR COUNTERMEASURE DEVELOPMENT
The Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) recently completed research that culminated in recommendations for an integrated package of countermeasures. These countermeasures are designed to enhance young driver and passenger safety in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). This paper provides an overview of the literature on the effect of passengers on young driver safety; and describes road safety initiatives to date that have targeted young drivers and teenage passengers. This paper also summarises the method and key outcomes of the study undertaken by MUARC to investigate the role types, both positive and negative, that passengers currently play to influence driver behaviour, and the factors that determine the extent to which these roles types are played. Finally, this paper outlines the recommended countermeasures deriving from the research. These covered the areas of promotion, education, training, licensing, enforcement, and research. The recommended countermeasures are intended to enhance road safety by promoting the potentially positive influence of passengers and minimising the negative influence of passengers on young driver behaviour.