Learner drivers and lay instruction: how socio-economic standing and lifestyle are reflected in driving practice from the age of 16
1999 (English)In: Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, ISSN 1369-8478, Vol. 2, no 3, 167-179 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
On September 1st 1993, a new law came into effect in Sweden, permitting instructor-supported driving practice from the age of 16 instead of 17 years and 6 months. The intention was to enable young people to gain more experience of driving a car before they acquire a driver's permit and thereby to reduce their accident risk.
The study was conducted by means of a questionnaire posted to 601 17-year-olds throughout Sweden. The participants were analysed concerning gender, socio-economic standing (blue-collar and white-collar), and lifestyle (friend-oriented, externally-oriented and parent-oriented). The results show that men obtain a learner's permit more often than women (67.4% vs 57.2%) and that youngsters in white-collar families acquire a learner's permit in more cases than those in blue-collar families (67.4% vs 52.4%). One of the reasons for the latter group not acquiring a permit is that they cannot afford it, while children in white-collar families state that they have neither the time nor the desire. No significant difference was found between the three lifestyle groups.
When it comes to the amount of practice, the men have been out on the road on average 39.9 h during their first 13 months, compared to 19.9 h for the women. In the lifestyle groups, those who belong to the so-called externally-oriented lifestyle have practised most. They have reported 39.2 h compared to the parent-oriented group with the least amount of training, 27.9 h on average. The friend-oriented group has 22.2 h of practice.
When both lifestyle and socio-economic standing were considered, even greater differences were found. The white-collar group of the externally-oriented lifestyle reported as much as 51.5 h, compared to the blue-collar group of the parent-oriented lifestyle with only 18.4 h of practising.
The above result is important because it is not in accordance with the intentions of the new driving practice system. The idea behind the new system was that all young people should have the opportunity for a longer period of driving practice in order to reduce the high accident risk during the first year with a driver’s license. If it is impossible for certain groups of youngsters to start their driving practice at the age of 16, the situation will become socially unjust and measures must be taken to remedy this situation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999. Vol. 2, no 3, 167-179 p.
Driver education; Driver training; Learner driver; Lifestyle; Socioeconomy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13574DOI: 10.1016/S1369-8478(99)00014-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-13574DiVA: diva2:20977