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Parent and adolescent risky driving behaviours: New Zealand drivers study.

Brookland, R, Begg, D, Langley, J, Ameratunga, S (Peer reviewed)

General

2009

Young drivers are over represented in motor vehicle crash statistics. As a measure to reduce young driver crashes many high-income countries operate graduated driver licensing systems, which are designed to limit new drivers’exposure to high risk driving situations. Graduated licensing provides an important opportunity for parents to take an active role in the “learning to drive” process, often as the supervisor or driving coach. Research has shown that driving behaviours of parents can influence the driving behaviours of their children. The aim of the present study was to describe and compare the risky and dangerous driving behaviours of parents and their newly licensed adolescents. The role of parent and adolescent gender in this relationship was also examined. This study was part of a longitudinal study of 3992 newly licensed drivers, the New Zealand Drivers Study (NZDS). At the restricted licence stage 894 young drivers and their parent (who supervised their driving at the learner licence stage) independently reported their risky and dangerous driving behaviours by completing the Manchester Driving Behaviour Questionnaire. Parents and adolescents reported low levels of driving violations and errors overall. A significant, but weak association between parent and adolescent risky driving behaviours was evident.