Driver education and training as evidence-based road safety interventions
This paper will briefly reflect on the progress of driver education and training as evidence-based road safety interventions and then report and discuss data from an online driver training initiative. In the last decade, new Goals of Driver Education (GDE matrix) have been formulated, which place a greater emphasis on the training of higher-order driving skills, such as visual search, hazard perception, risk management and the ability to self-evaluate. New state-of-the-art technologies have been made available to deliver some of the training safely on computers, via video-based traffic simulations. Our previously conducted studies showed that inexperienced drivers performed significantly poorer than experienced drivers on a laboratory-based hazard perception dual task, but they were able to improve their performance to the level of experienced drivers via road commentary training. We also showed that higher-order driving skills training was more effective than traditional vehicle handling skills training on several safety related measures, including an on-road driving assessment. As a follow up from this research, the present paper will focus on hazard perception performance data collected from 634 drivers, after having received online training via ‘eDrive’ www.edrive.co.nz, developed by eDrive Solutions Ltd. The training programme improved drivers’ hazard perception time by at least 10% and therefore has the potential of delivering effective online training of skills that are directly related to crash risk.