Driver Training

Driver Training

Key Facts:

  • Driver training (and education) is a common approach to improving road safety.

  • The focus of such training (and education) for non-professional drivers depends on the driving career stage being undertaken (e.g. pre-driver, learning to drive, post-licence, driver improvement or professional driving)

  • Training (and education) generally proposes to improve safety via one or more of three mechanisms. These are the provision of information, influencing attitudes, and training driving skills.

  • Although there are some promising research developments (such as hazard perception training and testing, and training that seeks to provide insight into driving skill limitations and life skills), driver training and education has not yet reliably been demonstrated to be effective at directly improving road safety.

  • It has been demonstrated that well-intentioned interventions can actually do harm (typically through fostering over-confidence in novice drivers, and encouraging early licensure).

  • The most important advice for those seeking to administer training and education interventions is to ensure that such interventions are based on formal theory and knowledge from relevant domains such as psychology and the other behavioural sciences, and to ensure that such interventions are properly evaluated using scientifically robust designs.

  • While driver training and education has failed to demonstrate effectiveness for improving safety directly, training and education play an extremely important role developing cultural values, beliefs, skills and legitimising safety-relevant enforcement and legislation.

  • Driver training and education should not be expected to improve safety on its own. Driver training and education should occur within an evidence-based holistic and lifelong driver licensing system, such as graduated driver licensing, with a developmental curriculum providing support and legitimacy for the things that do reduce risk (for example enforcement and reduced exposure).

  • The value to society of driver training and education is probably not in direct prevention of crashes and casualties, but in the legitimising and developing a safety culture that can provide mechanisms that do reduce the risk of crashes and casualties.

  • Evaluation in this context is manageable (i.e. the aims are more easily tested) and critical to determine that maximum benefit is being derived from programme resources.

  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 08:09 AM
  • Last Update: 01 Feb 2014, 11:28 AM