Exposure to risk

Interventions which provide details on the process of obtaining a license, give practise on the theory test items or offer practice in a car/skid training, may actually increase the likelihood of young people taking their driving test and getting their license earlier than would have been the case had they not experienced the intervention.

This, it is argued, increases their exposure to risk.

Evaluations of YDIs in Scotland show that this hands-on element of the intervention is often extremely popular amongst young people, who request more of things like the ‘driving simulator’.

The popularity of an activity does not neccessarily bear relation to it's usefulness in promoting behaviour change. These interventions may be accused of causing harm to young people but, currently, there is no evidence to prove this in the Scottish/UK context.

‘Because teenagers have a higher risk of road death and serious injury than any other age group, early licensing could offset any beneficial effect of driver education and increase the number of teenage road traffic crashes’.

Interventions can increase confidence about their driving abilities in novice drivers, without increasing competence, which when combined with getting a license earlier than they might otherwise, can lead to increased crash risk.

Resources

Effects of high school driver education on motor vehicle crashes, violations, and licensure. Vernick, J. S., Li, G., Ogaitis, S., MacKenzie, EJ., Baker, SP., Gielen, AC. (1999), American-Journal-of-Preventive-Medicine. 16(1), 40-46.

School Based Driver Education for the Prevention of Traffic Crashes (Review). Roberts, I., Kwan. I. and the Cochrane Injuries Group Driver Education Reviewers (2005) The Cochrane Collaboration. London: Wiley.

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