ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Crash Profile of New Zealand Novice Drivers

Lewis-Evans, Ben, Lukkien, Carolina

Novice Drivers & Older Drivers


The New Zealand Graduated Driver Licensing System (GDLS) is designed to allow novice drivers to mature and gain driving experience under conditions of reduced risk. To examine the effectiveness of the GDLS, the Ministry of Transport undertook an analysis to understand how the crash involvement of novice drivers change as they moved through the New Zealand GDLS. Crash profiles were created by data matching of the New Zealand licence and crash databases, covering a time period from 1999-2006. These crash profiles show that the initial learner period of the GDLS is relatively safe and the time at which novice drivers are involved in the highest number of crashes, is during the first few months of solo driving. In addition, individuals who gained a full licence within 12-18 months of holding a restricted licence had a higher risk of crashing than individuals who gained a full licence after 18 months. Analysis using logistic regression also showed an effect of age and gender with younger drivers and males both having higher levels of crash risk. Ultimately the crash profiles demonstrate the importance of both age and experience on the crash involvement of novice drivers and the benefits of the learner period and restricted period of the New Zealand GDLS.