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Motivating behaviour change among young drivers: Recent findings on developmental issues and the role of parents.

Senserrick, T M

Young Drivers

ACRS conference 2008

Young drivers are the most over-represented group in injury crash statistics, predominantly due to their inexperience; yet several factors that contribute to their over-representation fall under volitional control. Over the past decade, there has been increasing research support for biologically-driven explanations of this greater vulnerability to crashes. Better understanding of developmental and crash risk factors by youth and their parents could improve engagement and compliance with behaviour change programs. Parental involvement has been found to have a powerful impact on youth risk-taking behaviour for a variety of youth risk activities. Parent initiatives associated with reduced driving risks include general parental monitoring and written agreements on driving-related restrictions. Recently, in-vehicle monitoring equipment has become available to parents, which might also support improved parental involvement if utilised in a supportive, authoritative manner. It is argued that implementation and evaluation of ‘best practice’ recommendations in these fields offers a promising direction to further reduce young driver road trauma.