NEW LOOK DRIVER-TRAINING: DEFLATING CONFIDENCE AND PROMOTING SAFETY
AAMI/Skilled Drivers of Australia have developed a driver-training program that departs considerably from previous programs that have focused on advanced vehicle-handling skills and have tended to increase crash risk. The objective of the program is to provide 18-25 year-olds greater insight into potential risks when driving through theory and practical sessions. MUARC evaluated the program through repeated measures analyses of questionnaire responses on driving-related attitudes and behaviours. Questionnaires were distributed to participants on three occasions (final sample n = 144). Several positive outcomes were identified, including a protective role of course participation against dangerous driving behaviours and an increase in confidence in hazard management but not in overall driving ability. In fact, males reported a reduction in confidence. Participants reported several behavioural changes in open-ended responses, including safer headways, speeds, and greater awareness of the driving environment at 8-9 weeks following the course. It was concluded that the program effected positive changes that were likely to reduce the crash risk of participants.