SIMULATOR-BASED EVALUATION OF THE DRIVESMART NOVICE DRIVER CD-ROM TRAINING PRODUCT
The Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) recently completed research which culminated in the development of a CD ROM training product designed to accelerate the development of perceptual and cognitive driving skills known to be critical in reducing the crash risk of young novice drivers. This paper describes the design and outcomes of an experiment, using an advanced driving simulator located at MUARC, which evaluated the instructional effectiveness of the product. A total of 103 learner drivers aged almost 18 years with between 40 and 110 hours of driving experience participated. Fifty two subjects (the treatment group) completed 5 sessions of DriveSmart training. Fifty one subjects (the control group) completed 5 sessions of training using the Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 CD ROM product. One week after training, and again 4 weeks later, all subjects performed seven drives in the MUARC simulator which assessed their risk perception and attentional control skills. Overall, treatment subjects drove more safely in the simulator than controls following training and were no more confident in their driving ability following training than controls. These training effects generalised to risky traffic situations which were not encountered during training and persisted for at least four weeks after training.