ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

The DRIVE study: the pilot phase

Ivers, Rebecca Q.

Driver Licensing & Training


The DRIVE Study is an NHMRC funded longitudinal study examining risk factors for injury in 20 000 NSW drivers aged 17-24 years holding their first provisional driver?s licence. The baseline questionnaire includes questions on road and driving exposure/experience; driver training; road risk perceptions and mental health. Baseline data will be linked to driver records and data on crash and injury involvement two years after recruitment. The MAA funded pilot study compared two methods of participant recruitment. Over a one-week period in November 2002, 1512 new P-plate licensees in NSW, aged 17-24 years, were identified. The first method involved mailing potential participants an invitation to either log in to the study web-site where the questionnaire and consent forms could be completed online, or else phone a free-call number for a mailed questionnaire. The second method involved mailing all study material directly to potential participants. Resulting response rates were low: 7% for the on-line method and 12% for the print version, both after 2 mail-outs. A second pilot was then carried out on 3 groups of 100 participants. Similar methodology was utilised to the first pilot but including a third group who were sent a postcard directing them to the website. All three groups were offered payment by means of a movie ticket. The response rate achieved in this manner after 1 mail-out was 20% for both print packages and web invitation, but only 2% for the postcards. Although numbers in the second pilot were too small to make meaningful comparisons, there appeared to be a tendency for online participants to be male, urban dwellers as opposed to female rural dwellers completing the print questionnaire. The results from this pilot study demonstrate the challenges of recruiting this important driver population and the use of a novel method (the internet) for data collection.