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Motivating behaviour change in young drivers: What role can education, trainers and parents play?

Saville, T

Young Drivers

ACRS conference 2008

This paper is designed to stimulate and encourage further discussions around the role of driver training, parents and driver education programs and how they could better serve and improve young driver behaviour. With a greater emphasis now placed on parents to supervise and instruct young drivers at an early stage, the specific role that parents and driver training plays needs to more accurately reflect the current graduated licensing system. A central point in this discussion should focus on how to incorporate parents/supervisors and trainers together into the learn to drive process at an earlier stage, the adoption of formalised competencies for learner driver programs and clear identification of the role for parents. Learning should no longer be confined to accredited trainers, but spread across a wide and varied group of industry stakeholders, community and educational professionals. The focus should shift to what specific role education can play, including formalised instruction, driver education programs, driving competency standards and training and support for parents/supervisors. Previous research has already laid down the possibility for new educational and behavioural initiatives to be developed, with a concise approach to both educating and equipping young drivers, supervisors and trainers. The specific role of skills based training, knowledge acquisition and motivational factors for driving are already well known, but additional factors to address include parental mentoring, driving motivation, inherited skills and knowledge and the cognitive process. Discussions and conclusions should allow for active participation from all industry stakeholders, with a firm understanding on how educational and industry professionals can deliver more effective and lasting results, aimed at improving young driver behaviour and crash rates.