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Understanding Subgroups of Novice Drivers: A Basis for Increased Safety and Health
Linköping University, Department of health and environment. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2001 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Every year, drivers throughout the world are killed or injured in road traffic, particularly in developing countries. Young drivers run a greater risk everywhere, and this problem is still largely unsolved. Better understanding of the underlying processes could, however, be a useful tool in preventive endeavours. The aim of this thesis is to elucidate some of the accident problem among young car drivers. The focus is on understanding how lifestyle and other social and demographical factors influence the health of young people in terms of mobility and safety. Better knowledge of these factors makes it possible to design safety measures specially tailored for different subgroups. This is expected to help make the measures more effective and reduce the conflict between mobility and safety.

The thesis is based on five studies, the first of which focuses on the factors that influence young people in their decision concerning whether or not to obtain a driving licence (Paper I). In the second study, focus lies on how groups with different lifestyles and socio-economic background start practice driving and the benefit derived from the opportunity to practise from the age of 16 (Paper II). The third study aims at visualising accident patterns during driving practice (Paper III) while the fourth evaluates the effects of a reform that lowered the age limit for practice driving to 16 (Paper IV). The last study aims at analysing the relation between the lifestyles of young drivers and accidents (Paper V).

The results of the five studies underlines the complexity of the young driver problem. Many factors such as financial means, time and norms influence how many people take their licence and consequentially, safety and health (I). Socio-economic background together with lifestyle influences the possibility of obtaining a driving licence and of accumulating extensive driving practice (II), which is relevant as regards safety on the road for newly qualified drivers (IV). Paper III shows the prevalent accident pattern during driver training and Paper V shows that the accident risk is different in different lifestyle groups.

The combined results presented in the five papers offers the possibility of developing different countermeasures for the selective influencing of different groups under different conditions. If this is adapted as closely as possible to target groups and situations, it should be possible to significantly enhance safety without losing much of young drivers’ mobility, both during driving practice and afterwards.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2001. , 47 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 665
Keyword [en]
novice drivers, security, health, accidents
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-5037ISBN: 91-7219-958-X (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-5037DiVA: diva2:20981
Public defence
2001-04-06, Berzeliussalen, Hälsouniversitetet, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Note
On the day of the public defence of the doctoral thesis the status of the articles I was: Under review and article II was: Submitted. The titel of article III was "Typical accident patterns during driver training in Sweden – an explorative study using correspondence analysis". Aricle I and III are published in full text.Available from: 2001-04-19 Created: 2001-04-19 Last updated: 2012-01-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Driving licence or not: What influences young people’s choice?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Driving licence or not: What influences young people’s choice?
2001 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13573 (URN)
Available from: 2001-04-19 Created: 2001-04-19 Last updated: 2015-10-05
2. Learner drivers and lay instruction: how socio-economic standing and lifestyle are reflected in driving practice from the age of 16
Open this publication in new window or tab >>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
Abstract [en]

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.

Keyword
Driver education; Driver training; Learner driver; Lifestyle; Socioeconomy
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13574 (URN)10.1016/S1369-8478(99)00014-5 (DOI)
Available from: 2001-04-19 Created: 2001-04-19
3. Typical patterns in road-traffic accidents during driver training: An explorative Swedish national study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Typical patterns in road-traffic accidents during driver training: An explorative Swedish national study
2004 (English)In: Accident Analysis & Prevention, ISSN 0001-4575, Vol. 36, no 4, 603-608 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A new law came into force in Sweden on 1 September 1993, which makes instructor-assisted driving practice possible at the age of 16 years instead of the previous 17 years and 6 months. When the age limit was reduced, the possibility that this would lead to more road-traffic accidents (RTA) during driving practice was discussed. The aim of this study was to highlight typical road-traffic accident patterns and to discuss their potential for improved training and targeted prevention. A total of 11 variables (41 categories) descriptive of the 1081 RTA involving novice drivers and police registered during the period 1994–1999 were analysed simultaneously using in turn, two multivariate analysis techniques: the Factorial Analysis of Correspondence (FAC) and the Hierarchical Ascendant Classification (HAC). Four accident classes were identified and quantified, of which the first two were more typical of rural areas: (1) accidents in rural areas on straight stretches and related to speed limit 70 km/h (n=306); (2) accidents in rural areas on straight stretches and high-speed related (n=97); (3) accidents in built-up areas, low-speed related and of the type rear-end (n=298); and (4) accidents in built-up areas, at road junctions and low-speed related (n=380). Together, these classes point to a variety of opportunities to develop ways of working with targeted prevention. Instead of adopting a general attempt to counteract the relationship between individual variables and accidents, it is possible instead to focus on a whole context and its relationship with its typical accidents and any resulting injuries. This, in its turn, allows greater specificity in the build up of the Swedish licence and training regulations and its corresponding course curriculum.

Keyword
Traffic accidents, Traffic safety, Learner drivers, Driver training, Factorial Analysis of Correspondence, Hierarchical Ascendant Classification
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13575 (URN)10.1016/S0001-4575(03)00068-X (DOI)
Available from: 2001-04-19 Created: 2001-04-19
4. Sixteen years age limit for learner drivers in Sweden: an evaluation of safety effects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sixteen years age limit for learner drivers in Sweden: an evaluation of safety effects
Show others...
2000 (English)In: Accident Analysis and Prevention, ISSN 0001-4575, Vol. 32, no 1, 25-35 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Through a reform implemented in Sweden, September 1993, the age limit for practising car driving was lowered from 17½ to 16 years while the licensing age remained 18. The purpose of lowering the age limit was to give the learner drivers an opportunity to acquire more experience as drivers before being allowed to drive on their own. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the reform in terms of accident involvement and data were therefore obtained from the national register of police reported accidents. The results show that after the reform there was a general reduction in the accident risk (accidents per 10 million km) of novice drivers with approximately 15%. Additional analyses show that the reduction of accident risk in the group who utilised the new age limit was approximately 40%, whereas those who did not utilise the prolonged training period did not benefit at all. Between 45 and 50% of the age population were found to utilise the reform. The accident reduction does not seem to be just an initial first year effect since the results were similar over 3 years of novice drivers during their first 2 years with a licence. These results suggest that the reform has been beneficial for the safety of novice drivers in Sweden. The results also suggest a potential for additional safety improvements if more young learner drivers can be brought to utilise the low age limit.

Keyword
Learner drivers, Accident involvement, Safety effects, Sixteen years old
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14312 (URN)10.1016/S0001-4575(99)00045-7 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-02-27 Created: 2007-02-27 Last updated: 2009-05-15
5. Lifestyle and accidents among young drivers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lifestyle and accidents among young drivers
1994 (English)In: Accident Analysis & Prevention, ISSN 0001-4575, Vol. 26, no 3, 297-303 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study covers the lifestyle component of the problems related to young drivers' accident risk. The purpose of the study is to measure the relationship between lifestyle and accident risk, and to identify specific high-risk and low-risk groups. Lifestyle is measured through a questionnaire, where 20-year-olds describe themselves and how often they deal with a large number of different activities, like sports, music, movies, reading, cars and driving, political engagement, etc. They also report their involvement in traffic accidents. With a principal component analysis followed by a cluster analysis, lifestyle profiles are defined. These profiles are finally correlated to accidents, which makes it possible to define high-risk and low-risk groups. The cluster analysis defined 15 clusters including four high-risk groups with an average overrisk of 150% and two low-risk groups with an average underrisk of 75%. The results are discussed from two perspectives. The first is the importance of theoretical understanding of the contribution of lifestyle factors to young drivers' high accident risk. The second is how the findings could be used in practical road safety measures, like education, campaigns, etc.

Keyword
Recently qualified driver, Accident exposure, Behaviour, Accident proneness, Risk taking
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13577 (URN)10.1016/0001-4575(94)90003-5 (DOI)
Available from: 2001-04-19 Created: 2001-04-19

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