ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

The lawful nature of learning: acquisition of driving skills.

Groeger, John A.

Driver Licensing & Training


This paper considers the processes involved in the acquisition of driving skill, and in particular, the crucial role that practice has on pupils? learning. The results of two unique longitudinal studies of the development of learner drivers? skills are summarised. These show that a pupil?s initial aptitude for driving, depend on personal characteristics such as intelligence and personality. Subsequent progress in learning to drive is heavily influenced by initial aptitude, but then overwhelmingly affected by the amount of driving experience gained. Whether this experience is built up with tuition and supervision from a professional driving instructor or a parent has minimal effect. The power-law that describes the relationship between practice and level of performance also predicted future driving ability. The implications of these results for how we view learning to drive, and how the process of learning is best supported by training, education and licensing are discussed.