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Driving education/ training in graduated licensing pt2

By: D. R. Mayhew and H. M. Simpson

Date: Tuesday, 11. July 2006

This is the second half of this article. The first half and Table of Contents is available here.


In recent years there has been renewed interest in identifying ways to improve the safety impact of driver education/training. Two factors appear to have led to this renewed interest. The first can be traced to the rather disappointing results of the evaluation research (see Section 2.0), which showed that formal education/training programs provide few, if any, safety benefits over those obtained through informal methods. These findings have been an impetus to consider how the content and format of programs might be altered to improve their effectiveness.

The second factor leading to a renewed interest in the safety potential of driver education is somewhat more oblique. Its genesis is the burgeoning interest in graduated licensing and the fact that the first truly multistaged graduated licensing systems introduced in the last decade (in New Zealand and in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia) have all formally embraced driver education/training as part of the system. This precedent has also helped to spark renewed interest in driver education/training, especially in terms of the role it can or should play in a graduated licensing system. Of particular interest in these versions of graduated licensing, the length of time a new driver is required to spend in the graduated licensing system can be reduced if the driver completes an approved education/training program. The premise on which the time discount is based assumes implicitly that education/training provides safety benefits at least equivalent to those arising from the driving experience gained under conditions of low risk (i.e., under the restrictions imposed by system)-a premise that is not readily supported by the empirical evidence.

Nonetheless, it is the link between education/training and the driver licensing system that has been a major force in much of the renewed interest surrounding formal instruction. This is underscored by a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report to Congress (1994), which detailed a research agenda to develop an improved novice driver education program that would be integral to a graduated licensing system. Given this interdependence, recent developments in education/training cannot be discussed without considering recent developments in licensing. Moreover, it is this very interdependence that is the subject of the current report. Accordingly, this section reviews recent developments in driver education/training and driver licensing, beginning with the United States. It then considers recent developments in Canada, Europe and Australasia. This section, however, does not describe all of the characteristics of the graduated licensing systems that have been or are being implemented in the various jurisdictions in the United States and elsewhere. As indicated above, the primary focus is on how, and to what extent, driver education/training is being integrated with these new licensing systems.


To provide an initial frame of reference, this section begins by examining the current requirements for driver education and licensing in the United States. This overview is followed by a description of recent developments that have been undertaken by governments at the federal and state level as well as in the private sector to improve driver licensing and education.

3.1.1 Background. As discussed in a previous section, the legacy of DeKalb was nothing short of widespread disillusionment about the potential safety benefits of driver education. Indeed, the disappointing findings from DeKalb had a profound and lasting impact on the driver education community. According to Crowe and Torabi (1994), for example, there has been a decline in formal public school driver education courses principally due to the lack of financial support for such programs by federal and state governments. Enrollment in driver education has also been on the decline over the past few years in the majority of states.

Even given these declines and despite the lack of empirical evidence in support of formal driver instruction, a majority of states still continue to offer driver education through the public school system and many students take advantage of this availability. For example, Crowe and Torabi (1994), who surveyed each state, found that although in some states only a small percentage of eligible students take driver education in the public school system, in many states the vast majority of eligible students take it - e.g., in nine states, over 90 percent of eligible students complete driver education.

Most states also have commercial driving schools but student enrollment in these courses is not well documented. For example, Crowe and Torabi (1994) were able to obtain information on the number of commercial school graduates in only eight states.

Of greater relevance is the linkage between licensing and driver education. Of particular note, many states allow students who complete driver education to obtain their license at a younger age than those students who do not complete driver education. In most of these states, a driver can become licensed at age 16 if they complete driver education but they must wait until they are 18 if they have not completed driver education. Put another way, in such states driver education is a mandatory pre-licensing requirement if the applicant wants to become licensed before 18. As a consequence, students who complete driver education tend to be licensed at a younger age than those who do not.

Moreover, as many as 15 states do not require students who complete driver education to pass the road test administered by the Department of Motor Vehicles. They can obtain a full unrestricted license simply upon proof of completing driver education.

It is evident from this brief overview that there is an historical, continuing and formal association between driver education/training and driver licensing. This relationship has also been embedded in many graduated licensing systems as described in the next section.

3.1.2 Recent developments in driver licensing. As suggested earlier, the last few years have been marked by major efforts to address the problem of collisions involving young drivers, especially through the licensing system. The introduction of zero or low BAC laws for teens and night driving curfews are two prominent illustrations of licensing restrictions designed to reduce the incidence of serious collisions involving young drivers.

More recently, considerable attention has been directed at a system of licensing called "graduated". Such a system encourages the accumulation of driving experience in lower risk, more protective settings. Exposure to progressively more demanding and risky conditions is permitted after the beginner has gained some on-road experience. For example, the novice may be initially required to accumulate driving experience under supervision during less risky daylight hours, before progressing to unsupervised driving and more risky conditions, such as driving at night.

The concept of graduated licensing is certainly not new and, in fact dates to the early 1970s when NHTSA recommended a model program (Croke and Wilson 1977) to address the overrepresentation of young drivers in crashes. At that time, graduated licensing was viewed with considerable skepticism and only a few states adopted elements of the system. Today, however, the concept of graduated licensing is gaining wider acceptance and has been embraced by many as a potentially effective means for reducing the high rates of collision involvement among young drivers.

Of particular relevance to the current report, developments in the area of graduated licensing have direct and potentially profound implications for driver education/training. As mentioned in the introduction to this section, the connection has been made explicit, because NHTSA's agenda for developing an improved novice driver education program is premised on the assumption that it will be an integral part of a graduated licensing system.

Early initiatives in Graduated licensing. In the mid-1970s, NHTSA advocated that young novice drivers should not receive full driving privileges immediately upon becoming licensed. Consistent with this position, NHTSA developed a model graduated licensing system that recommended beginners under the age of 18 proceed through a three-stage licensing process over a 24-month period, prior to obtaining full, unrestricted driving privileges. The three stages involved a six-month learner phase, a six-month restricted phase, and a 12-month provisional license phase. The conditions of each of these stages of licensing are summarized below:

It is interesting to note that in this early NHTSA model, driver education was given an important role-i.e., it was a mandatory requirement during the Learner's stage. The model program was never fully implemented in the United States although several states-Maryland, California and Oregon -adopted a number of its key features. For example, in 1979 Maryland introduced a three-stage licensing system for persons under the age of 18 that included a Learner's permit, a provisional license and a regular license. Under this new system, successful completion of driver education was a requirement for obtaining a provisional license.

The program adopted in California in 1983 also applied to persons under the age of 18 and had three stages-i.e., a Learner's permit, a provisional license and a regular adult license. The requirements for driver education, however, differed slightly from the ones introduced in Maryland. In the California program, novices were required to be enrolled in both driver education and driver training to be eligible for a learner's permit. This was not required in Maryland. Similar to Maryland, California required provisional license holders under the age of 18 to complete driver education and training prior to obtaining a full adult license.

The program implemented in Oregon in 1989 also differed from the programs in Maryland and California with respect to driver education and training. In this state, driver education/training was not a mandatory requirement at the learner or provisional license stages. Such programs, however, were available to novices on a voluntary basis.

Thus, the programs introduced in these three states included some of the elements from the NHTSA model but differed in their treatment of driver education/training. Of particular note, the programs in Maryland and California included provisions for driver education but the program in Oregon did not.

Recent developments in graduated licensing. More recently, NHTSA has reaffirmed its support for graduated licensing and recommended a new three-stage system that includes a learner's permit, intermediate license and full license. A salient feature of the new NHTSA model is that it recommends two stages of driver education: a basic driver education course in the learner stage and an advanced driver education course in the intermediate stage. Consistent with these recommendations, NHTSA has initiated a parallel project to develop suitable driver education courses (discussed in a subsequent section of this report).

Implementation of graduated licensing. To encourage the implementation of graduated licensing systems in the United States and to provide the basis for evaluating their effectiveness, NHTSA has offered incentive grants to the states. To date, $1.2 million has been provided to five states -Alaska, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Vermont. One of these five states -Florida-has already enacted their new system and two others -Alaska and North Carolina-have prepared and introduced graduated licensing bills or legislation that includes several of the components of the NHTSA model program. Special requirements for driver education have also been enacted in a few other states -i.e., Michigan and Kentucky. The role of driver education in several of these new programs is described below.

In Florida, under both the old and new systems, learner permit holders are required to complete a four hour traffic law and substance abuse education course, but are not required to take a driver education course.

The North Carolina bill requires beginners to complete driver education during the limited learner's permit stage (Level 1). It also stipulates that the six hour "on-the-road" component of the driver education program involve six hours of actual driving experience and not just riding in the vehicle for that period of time.

The graduated system recently enacted in Michigan is perhaps most noteworthy because it involves a three-stage licensing program-instructional, restricted and provisional. The Michigan program has been greatly influenced by the recommended NHTSA model on graduated licensing and driver education. Indeed, similar to the NHTSA model, this new bill will require two stages of driver education.

As described in materials provided by the Traffic Safety Policy Section of the Michigan Department of State, "the first, basic control skills segment, would be required before an instructional or Level I license is issued, while the second safe driving segment would be required before a restricted or Level 11 license is issued". This approach differs markedly from the current situation in which 16 and 17 year-olds can become licensed if they complete an approved driver education course and drive under supervision for a minimum of 30 days. Persons who do not complete driver education must be at least 18 before receiving a full privilege drivers license.

The current driver education course in Michigan typically involves 30 hours of classroom and six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. No road test is required for a full-privilege license if the application for the driver license is made 12 months from the date the driver education certificate was validated by the Department. This provision will also change with the introduction of a performance-based road test.

Kentucky also implemented elements of a graduated licensing system in 1996. Under these new licensing requirements, the learner's permit period of supervised driving will be at least six months and initial license holders must complete a four-hour graduated license education course or an approved private driver education course within one year.

Several U.S. states are expected to introduce graduated licensing bills in 1997.

Other developments in graduated licensing. Support for graduated licensing has also been growing rapidly in the United States in the private sector. For example, in the driver education community, the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association (ADTSEA) approved a resolution on graduated driver licensing at its 39th annual conference in 1995. Of special significance, their support is conditional on the requirement that graduated licensing "include enrollment in formal driver education as a prerequisite for entry to the system and that exit from the system requires the successful completion of formal driver education" (The Driver Licensing Eagle Eye 1995; p.3).

Several coalitions have also been established to promote graduated licensing. For example, in 1995 a graduated driver licensing task force comprising the following eight national organizations was formed:

American Automobile Association, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the National Transportation Safety Board, the National Association of Independent Insurers, the National Association of Governor's Highway Safety Representatives, and the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances. The purposes of the task force were to establish common goals, combine resources, and establish a plan of action for encouraging states to implement graduated licensing (Hedlund and Miller 1996).

The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances (NCUTLO) has recently broadened the membership of the "Task Force on Graduated Licensing". This Task Force has developed a "Graduated Driver Licensing Model Law".

3.1.3 Recent Development in driver education. Parallel with, and in many cases closely tied to, developments in graduated licensing have been developments in the area of driver education/training. One of the more prominent of these initiatives is NHTSA's research agenda for an improved novice driver education program.

Research agenda for an improved novice driver education program. In May 1994, NHTSA released a report to Congress that detailed a research agenda for an improved novice driver education program. This report describes a plan to develop and evaluate a two-stage driver education program that is an integral part of a graduated licensing system.

The focus on a two-stage program was based on several conclusions that NHTSA reached regarding the failure of "current driver education ... to reduce unsafe driving behaviors by young drivers substantially" (NHTSA 1994, p. 15). First, they contend that major crash reductions have not been forthcoming from courses such as the SPC (see section 2.0 for a description of this course) because "crash reduction from driver education probably comes from the application of safe driving strategies, not from an application of basic vehicle controls" (p. 15). From their perspective, a major shortcoming of current programs is that they either focus mostly on teaching vehicle handling skills (i.e., so that the novice can pass the road test), or try to teach both vehicle control skills and safe driving skills (i.e., decision making resulting in risk reduction) at the same time.

According to NHTSA, trying to teach vehicle control skills and safe driving practices at the same time is "probably inappropriate or, at best, inefficient' because the new driver may be so preoccupied with learning the basics that they do not have the capacity or motivation to learn safe driving strategies. If this is the case, it may be important that novices master the fundamentals of vehicle control skills before they can learn and practice safe driving strategies. As such, crash reductions through driver education can only occur by changing when safe driving strategies are taught.

Second, NHTSA maintains that "motivation" is the critical factor in ensuring that beginners adopt safe driving practices. Such motivation can be provided within the context of a graduated licensing system, which requires a collision- and violation-free record to progress to a full license. Assuming that young beginners want a license and that they want to keep it, they should be motivated in a graduated licensing system to learn and practice safe driving.

Thus NHTSA has proposed that graduated licensing can be a vehicle for actualizing the safety potential of driver education/training. Their proposed program is detailed below:

The first stage of driver education would occur during the first tier of the graduated license program-under a Learner Permit. This stage of the driver education would provide only initial instruction, concentrating on basic vehicle handling skills, and essential safety concepts (e.g., rules of the road). The instruction could be taken in school, be provided by parents or other adults, or by other means. The novice would be driving under a restricted Learner Permit (e.g., zero BAC, required use of safety belts, adult in vehicle at all times) while gaining basic vehicle handling skills.

Potential topics that might be taught during this stage are: requirements of the graduated license system, basic safety concepts and traffic laws, occupant protection, initiating and ending a drive, accelerating, braking, stopping, turning, tracking (i.e., keeping it between the lines), maintaining, speed, parking, basics of communication with other road users, and basic driver factors (e.g., influence of alcohol on driving).

After a minimum period of six months the novice would receive an intermediate/provisional license. Certification would be required that the novice had received instruction in basic vehicle control skills and had six months of supervised experience. This certification and the passing of a basic road test would be required before an intermediate/provisional license would be issued.

After at least six months of additional experience under the provisional/intermediate license, the second stage of the driver education program would be given. This stage of driver education would be an accredited program provided by a certified instructor. It could be presented within secondary or trade schools or by the private sector. The program would concentrate on safe driving skills and procedures, including perceptual and decision-making skills. By teaching safe driving skills after the novice had obtained behind-the-wheel experience and a minimum level of basic vehicle control capability, the novice could better concentrate on developing safe driving procedures. Instruction in safe driving strategies would now be more effective as it would be more meaningful to the novice.

Potential topics that might be included in this stage of driver education are: decision making; risk-taking, including use of alcohol and speeding; perceptual skills, including visual habits; vehicle factors, including handling capabilities of the vehicle and importance of vehicle maintenance; environmental factors, especially those that relate to vision, and road surface conditions and traction; other driver factors, including attitudes, stress, anger, drugs, the dangers of mixing drugs (e.g., alcohol and allergy medicine), and the social responsibilities of driving, including interacting with other roadway users; trip planning and fuel economy; and, an extensive end-of-course knowledge, attitude, and drive test.

As discussed earlier, NHTSA is encouraging states to implement and evaluate a complete graduated licensing system that includes an integrated two-stage driver education component. To Facilitate the development of a suitable driver education component, NHTSA has initiated three related projects.

The first of these is to develop a program to involve parents in the training of young novice drivers because NHTSA recognizes that parents/guardians could potentially play a greater role in the education and licensing of young beginners. From their perspective, greater parental involvement in training is required for the following two reasons:

The related research involves a review of past and existing parent-oriented programs; an identification of changes needed to previous efforts; the development and pilot testing of new procedures and materials; and a recommended parent participation program.

The second project concerns the development of training approaches and procedures that can improve the decision-making of young novice drivers. This work emerged from recognition that the risk-taking of young drivers arises from more than a lack of knowledge. In this context, experts at a Workshop that NHTSA convened in 1993 on Young Driver Risk-Taking underscored that "norms, perceptions, cognitive abilities, attitudes, culture, lifestyle and situational pressures all may contribute to poor decisions regarding driving" (NHTSA 1994; p. 19). Accordingly, beginners might benefit from training in decision-making.

The related NHTSA project involves a review of the relevant literature; the use of an expert panel; focus tests with youth to identify perceptions, attitudes, and decision making ability; identifying relevant training approaches and procedures; and pilot testing and revising the new program. Among the approaches currently being considered is an interactive computer program that places beginners in high risk driving situations that have alternative courses of actions. The beginner would be required to select a course of action and then be exposed to the negative/positive outcome(s) of their decision(s).

The purpose of the third NHTSA project is to determine the feasibility of applying new simulation technology to the training of novice drivers. The objective is to identify innovative, feasible, and low-cost applications of existing or easily adaptive simulation technology. The work involves a literature and information review addressing the training needs of young, novice drivers and the potential uses of simulation and computer-aided instructions; critical assessment of past and current simulation applications and devices that are most cost effective and acceptable to the population; and recommendations for the development of the simulation applications that are most promising.

Other recent initiatives in driver education/training. Several other recent initiatives have been undertaken to improve current driver education programs. Four are noteworthy: the development of an improved curriculum outline for driver education by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety; updating of a performance-based driver education program in Washington; a project to revise and evaluate the high school driver education program in Pennsylvania; and a law that allows parents to teach a home-based driver education/training course in Texas.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safely: Reinventing driver education. Lonero et al. (1995) recently completed a study sponsored by the AAA Foundation to develop a model curriculum outline for novice driver education. Based on a review of the literature and a survey of experts, the authors recommended that formal driver instruction should focus intensely on both skill and motivational factors. In this context, they identified 10 driver qualities that in their view determine driver performance. These main qualities and their subtopics are listed below.


1.1 Risk Tolerance
1.2 Emotion
1.3 Intrinsic Motivators
1.4 Resisting Negative Learning


2.1 Becoming a Driver
2.2 Human Factors in Driving
2.3 Physics of Driving


3.1 Alertness
3.2 Dividing Attention
3.3 Switching Attention


4.1 Visual Scanning
4.2 Detecting Path Deviation


5.1 Seeing with Understanding
5.2 Potential Hazard Recognition


6.1 Risk Assessment
6.2 Other Users' Expectations
6.3 Attribution Bias


7.1 Option Matching
7.2 Response Selection
7.3 Risk Acceptance
7.4 Retry/Abort


8. I Acceleration and Speed Control
8.2 Controlling Deceleration
8.3 Steering
8.4 Skill Integration
8.5 Error Correction


9.1 Speed Choice
9.2 Separation
9.3 Early Response
9.4 Contexts and Conditions


10.1 Self Monitoring
10.2 Internal Conditions
10.3 Conflict Avoidance
10.4 Seat Belts and Child Seats
10.5 Active Caring
10.6 Communication
10.7 Energy and Environment

According to Lonero et al. these driver qualities should constitute the important subject matter in driver education courses.

The AAA Foundation has also recently initiated a project to develop new procedures for training novice drivers in hazard perception. This involves the use of an interactive computer program that exposes beginners to different driving scenes in which they have to identify and evaluate hazards.

Washington State competency-based program. Since 1975, Washington State has had a competency-based program of driver education and training. This program is not based on time requirements-i.e., the standard 30 hours of classroom and 6 hours behind the wheel-but focuses on evaluating student performance against established course criteria. A potential benefit of a competency-based rather than an hourly-based program is that it recognizes students have varying levels of knowledge, skills and capabilities and may require differential lengths of time to improve and master the techniques and concepts involved in driving. Competency-based instruction is also applied in a few other jurisdictions -e.g., Los Angeles, California; Portland, Oregon (Public Technology Inc. 1986).

Washington State has recently developed and implemented a new competency-based driver education curriculum that has been heralded as "the leading edge" in driver education (Driver Education 1995). This new curriculum consists of the following nine educational modules:

Module 1

Introduction to Program, System, Vehicle Space Requirements.

Module 2

Introduction to Space Management, Vehicle Maneuvers, Traffic Controls, and Intersection Rules.

Module 3

Introduction to Processing Skills with Applications of Vehicle Control Skills in Non-complex Roadway Situations.

Module 4

Managing Space and Complex Intersection Problems with Appropriate Speed and Lane Position Adjustments in Higher Speed Roadway Conditions.

Module 5

Managing Vehicle Space, Speed, and Position while Performing Complex Maneuvers in Complex Traffic Situations.

Module 6

Intervention Strategies to Reduce Substance Use and Abuse Among Youthful Drivers.

Module 7

Prevention, Recognition and Loss Control Strategies in Complex Driving Situations.

Module 8

Roadway users, Agencies, and Personal Responsibilities.

Module 9

Personal and Social Responsibility in the Highway Transportation System.

Perhaps the most notable characteristic of the Washington program is that it is very comprehensive. Indeed, it is difficult to identify a topic related to driving that is not covered to some extent. Given that the program is competency-based, it is likely that all of this subject matter can be covered in adequate detail. This would certainly not be possible if the program were restricted to the more typical 30 hours in classroom and 6 hours in vehicle. Importantly, however, the Washington program has not been formally evaluated so there is no evidence that it has safety benefits.

Ongoing evaluation of an enhanced driver education program in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, the standard high school driver education program has recently been revised to include parental participation, training in decision making and visual search, and night driving lessons. Basically, the instructional objectives and content of the current program have not been changed; what has changed is how the student learns these objectives and content.

A critical aspect of the enhanced curriculum is that it uses a risk assessment-decision making model known as STOP, THINK & GO Decision Making (Worzbyt 1991). According to program materials, the three step decision making model "works like a traffic signal light..." that:

...first instructs students to STOP and clarify (verbalize) the problem or challenge before them. They are then instructed to proceed with caution to THINK about the various options open to them in solving their dilemma. With those choices in mind, students are taught how to filter each choice (Right, Reality, & Responsibility) in search of safe choices designed to address the driver's challenge with minimal risk to self and others. The last step in the process requires student drivers to GO (operationalize) with choices that are based on Right, Reality, & Responsibility.

Worzbyt has observed that this model is used in the enhanced program so that the students will:

This enhanced curriculum is currently being evaluated to determine its safety benefits in 18 pilot and 18 control high schools. Importantly, however, students in the pilot schools take the enhanced driver education curriculum and those in the control schools take the existing driver education program. As a consequence, this evaluation will not address the absolute effectiveness of formal driver instruction-i.e., the study design does not include a control group of untrained drivers so it will not be possible to draw any conclusions about the merits of the enhanced curriculum compared to no formal training at all,

The evaluation is currently in progress and, according to Hornfeck (1996), preliminary findings should be available this fall. Hornfeck, however, has reported several difficulties in implementing the enhanced curriculum. The major difficulties relate to the requirement for night driving lessons. He notes that many schools did not participate in the project because of this requirement and that even among the 18 pilot schools most of the difficulties related to the night driving requirement-e.g., students failed to show for their scheduled night lessons; longer daylight hours during late spring, summer, and early fall shortened the available time to work with students at night and meant that teachers might be working as late as 10:00 p.m. Problems have also been encountered in getting the parents/guardians to participate in the enhanced program in some schools especially during certain times of the year-e.g., the spring semester.

Driver education/Training offered at home in Texas. A new law was enacted in Texas in September 1995 that allows parents or guardians to teach their children driver education/training at home. For official approval, the home course materials must be at least equal to those required in a regular driver education program.

3.1.4 Summary. The continuing problem of young driver crashes in the United States has generated growing interest in identifying and implementing potentially effective solutions. Much of the focus has been on improving driver licensing and driver education. Major efforts are under way in both the public and private sectors to encourage states to develop and implement graduated licensing, a system that encourages the accumulation of driving experience in lower risk, more protective settings. These efforts have been extremely successful. Several states have already introduced elements of graduated licensing and many others are considering doing so.

The interest in graduated licensing has also had major implications for driver education/training. Because of the historical linkage between driver education and licensing, states have had to consider the role that driver education and training would play in a graduated licensing system. In many of those states that have or are considering implementing graduated licensing, successful completion of driver education/training is a mandatory requirement in either the learner's or provisional stage.

Of particular note, NHTSA has recommended, and the state of Michigan is implementing, two stages of driver education: a basic driver education course in the learner stage and an advanced driver education course in the intermediate stage. Such efforts to improve the structure and content of driver education/training emerge largely from disappointment with the safety performance of existing programs. As discussed in Section 2.0, results of the evaluation research showed that formal education/training programs provide few, if any, safety benefits over those obtained through informal methods. In this context, graduated licensing has provided an opportunity to rethink the value of driver education and to identify areas and opportunities for improvement. One of these areas for improvement involves restructuring driver education/training into two stages and modifying its content so that the first stage of education is devoted to basic skills related to how to drive-e.g., basic vehicle control skills-and the second stage concentrates more on safe driving skills and procedures, including perceptual and decision-making skills. Such a two-stage approach to education articulates well with a two-stage graduated licensing system. NHTSA's current research agenda includes developing and evaluating an integrated driver education/training and graduated licensing system.

Further improvements to driver education/training that are currently being developed or have been implemented include:

With the exception of the enhanced program in Pennsylvania, these recent initiatives are not currently being evaluated. Accordingly, their safety impact remains unknown.


Recent initiatives in Canada to address the young driver problem have to a large extent preceded or paralleled those in the United States. The primary focus in Canada has also been on graduated licensing and driver education.

Historically, the linkage between driver education/training and licensing in Canada has been informal. For example, it has not been a pre licensing requirement, as it is in many states. A few years ago, education and training were introduced as a mandatory requirement for licensing in Quebec but the mandatory educational component has since been dropped and they are currently considering rescinding the mandatory training requirement. The only province currently considering mandatory driver education is Saskatchewan.

However, many jurisdictions have changed or are in the process of changing their licensing system to address the problem of collisions involving new drivers, and in the context of these changes the potential role of driver education and training as a loss reduction measure has become salient once more.

This has been most prominent in those jurisdictions (Ontario and Nova Scotia) that have implemented graduated licensing, where a formal linkage between education/training and licensing has been made explicit. Although education/training is not a mandatory requirement of the system for learners in either province, progression through it can be significantly accelerated by taking an accredited driver education course. This approach is consistent with that taken in New Zealand which was the first country to implement a full-blown graduated licensing system. Details on the New Zealand approach are provided in a later section of this report.

The increased importance now being placed on driver education/training within the licensing system has also resulted in a review of the driver education and training industry in two provinces-Ontario and British Columbia. Ontario is currently developing new standards for driver education and British Columbia has already done so. The province of Saskatchewan has recently revised their high school driver education curriculum. The new program places greater emphasis on teaching novices to avoid the types of collisions that typically occur in that province. These initiatives are described in greater detail below.

3.2.1 Graduated Licensing and Driver Education. Two provinces -Ontario and Nova Scotia -have implemented graduated licensing systems and in both, driver education/training has been closely integrated into the licensing process.

In Ontario, graduated licensing is a three-step licensing process involving a learner stage, restricted phase and full licensing. The first stage lasts for 12 months during which the novice must be accompanied at all times by a fully licensed driver with at least four years driving experience and must comply with a set of driving restriction. This 12-month period can, however, be reduced to eight months if the new driver successfully completes an approved driver education course.

The second level, which also carries with it a few driving restrictions, is also 12 months in duration and cannot be reduced through formal instruction. Drivers in this stage must pass an advanced skill test before graduating to a full license. This requirement may encourage some to voluntarily take an advanced driver education/training program to increase the likelihood they will pass the advanced skill test.

The graduated licensing system implemented in Nova Scotia also involves two licensing phases but differs in several important respects from the system in Ontario. The learner's stage of the new system in Nova Scotia lasts for six months (12 in Ontario) and this six-month learning period can be reduced to three months if the novice takes a recognized driver education or training program. The second stage of the system lasts for a minimum of two years and to graduate to a full license the newly licensed driver must successfully complete a six-hour defensive driving course. Thus, in the second stage of the Nova Scotia system, education/training is mandatory and therefore carries no time discount with it.

The new graduated licensing systems in both Ontario and Nova Scotia have made special provisions for driver education/training. Provisions are also included in two other provinces-British Columbia and New Brunswick -that have implemented elements of graduated licensing.

In British Columbia, the government has introduced a new "Driver Improvement Program" that includes a six-month minimum period for a learner's permit. This six-month period can be reduced to three months if the driver successfully completes an approved driver education/training course.

New Brunswick has implemented a two-stage licensing system that extends over two years. Each stage is one year in duration. The one-year period in the first stage can be reduced to four months if the learner passes an approved driver training course. However, the balance of time that would have been spent in Stage One is then added to Stage Two-e.g., if a learner completes driver education and reduces their time in Stage One by eight months (from 12 months to 4 months), this eight-month reduction is then added to Stage Two, which would now increase in duration from one year to one year and eight months. In this manner, a minimum time of two years elapses before the novice can obtain a full license, whether or not the novice successfully completes driver education/training.

Finally, two other provinces-Quebec and Saskatchewan-are currently considering making changes to their licensing procedures for new drivers that implicate driver education/training.

In Quebec, driver training is currently a mandatory requirement. The Quebec government is now considering rescinding this mandatory training provision and making it voluntary but encouraging participation by allowing the duration of the learner's permit-a proposed 12 months-to be reduced if the driver takes a recognized training program.

In contrast to the province of Quebec, where compulsory driver training may be rescinded, the Saskatchewan government has recently announced that it will be introducing mandatory driver education in August 1997. Given that most young drivers in that province already voluntarily take high school driver education, the move to mandatory driver education/training should not be difficult to implement.

In summary, several provinces in Canada are considering modifying or already have modified their procedures for licensing new drivers. In most cases, driver education/training has been given a prominent role in those modifications-i.e., although driver education/training remains voluntary, there is an incentive to take it because completion of an approved course can reduce the length of time the novice must spend in the restricted licensing stage(s).

3.2.2 Ongoing Review of Driver Education/Training in Ontario. Following the introduction of graduated licensing in the fall of 1994, the Ministry of Transportation initiated an in-depth government/industry review of driver education and training. A primary reason for this review was that the new licensing procedures gave a prominent role to driver education and training-i.e., a four-month time discount for learner drivers who successfully completed an approved driver education/training program. As a consequence, it was necessary for the Ministry to examine the current situation regarding driver education/training and to assess the adequacy of the existing minimum set of requirements for driver instruction courses and driver instructors.

To facilitate this review process, the Ministry established a "Driver Education Advisory Committee", composed of representatives from government and the private sector, to review issues related to the operation of driver education in the province. Four working groups were set up to assist the committee. The task of one of these working groups has been to review the existing driver education curriculum and recommend an enhanced generic standard for driver education curricula-e.g., course content, duration of in-class and in-vehicle instruction, instructor qualifications, requirements for instructional facilities. The rationale is that there is no formal standard for driver education curricula in the province.

Once a new standard for curricula is established, it will apply to driver education courses being offered to novices in the learner stage of the graduated licensing system-the stage in which a time discount applies if the driver completes an approved program.

Consideration is also being given to setting standards for a less comprehensive, advanced driver education course, focusing more on safe driving practices, that could be offered to assist drivers in the second stage of the graduated license who are preparing for the advanced skill test, which is an exit requirement to obtain a full license.

3.2.3 Development of a New Curriculum Standard for Driver Education/Training in British Columbia. The province of British Columbia has recently introduced changes to their licensing system that includes a six-month period of supervised driving for the learner permit holder. As part of this new licensing procedure, learners who complete an approved driver education course can reduce this six-month period by three months. Similar to the situation in Ontario, these changes prompted the Motor Vehicle Branch in British Columbia to initiate a review of the driver education/training industry and to develop a new standard for a model driver education curriculum.

The approach that is being recommended (Lonero et al. 1995) is a two-phase safety-focused curriculum that involves 16 to 20 hours of classroom and 5 to 15 hours of in-car instruction. The safety-critical topics that have been identified for the course content have been taken from the "Novice Driver Education Model Curriculum" developed by Lonero et al. for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and described earlier in the report. The recommendations made to the British Columbia government regarding a new driver education curriculum standard represent the first attempt to apply the AAA Foundation model.

3.2.4 Development of a Crash-based Course in Saskatchewan. A new crash-based course has been designed that requires 12 hours behind the wheel as well as 8 hours observation. In addition, classroom time will be reduced from 30 hours to 18, with optional time for discussion and other activities.

The course curriculum is based on an examination of the collision characteristics of young drivers in Saskatchewan. This was done to place greater emphasis on those skills needed to avoid the specific types of collisions in which young drivers become involved.

3.2.5 Summary. Recent initiatives in Canada to resolve the young driver crash problem have focused on driver licensing and driver education/training. Similar to the United States, several provinces have implemented major changes to their licensing system, including the introduction of graduated licensing. Most of these changes have involved an increased period of supervised driving and a discount in the length of time a new driver has to spend in the licensing stage if an approved driver education program is completed.

The increasingly prominent role of driver education/training has also prompted a review of the existing standards for such programs.

Finally, a new crash-based course has been developed in the province of Saskatchewan. This course gives greater emphasis to teaching those skills novices need to avoid the types of collisions that typically occur in that province.

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Similar to the situation in North America, there has been recent interest in Europe in improving driver education/training and, to a lesser extent the driver licensing system. Improvements now being considered relate to changes in the curriculum content in driver education courses-e.g., more emphasis on cognitive and perceptual skills-and the value of informal practice with an accompanying driver in an extended learning stage. These recent initiatives are described below. First, however, we provide a brief description of the current situation regarding licensing and education in Europe. This will provide a framework for understanding the changes to driver education/training that are currently being considered.

Much of the information that is provided in this section was derived from two major recent reports as well as interviews with experts in several European countries. The first report by Heinrich et al. (in press) describes a survey of driver education and training systems in 27 European countries, which was conducted for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This report provides a rich source of information detailing similarities and differences in current practices related to driver education and training in Europe. However, it does not provide any information on future developments. Such information is contained in a recent report by Lynam and Twisk (1995) that describes the results of another major survey of driver licensing and training systems in Europe. This survey was done by the Forum of European Road Safety Research Institutes (FERSI) and supported by the Transport Directorate of the European Union. The survey focused primarily on current practices and future developments in driver education in France, Germany and Great Britain. The fact that these two major surveys have been conducted underscores the recent interest in Europe in examining current practices and identifying ways to improve formal driver instruction.

3.3.1 Current Practices in Europe. The current situation in Europe regarding driver licensing and education differs somewhat from that in North America. For example, the minimum licensing age in Canada and the United States is typically 16. By contrast, as Heinrich et al. (1995) reported, the minimum age for obtaining a driving license is 18 years of age in 21 of the 27 European countries surveyed in the OECD-sponsored study; five countries have a minimum age of 17; and only one country has a minimum license age of 16. Several countries have, however, very recently reduced their licensing age to 16.

Driver education/training is also compulsory in almost all of the 27 countries surveyed-only five countries do not require driver education/training as a condition of licensing. In most of those countries in which driver instruction is mandatory, both theoretical and practical instruction is required. learners typically get their formal instruction in private driving schools and not at high schools, as is the case in the United States. This difference is likely due to the older minimum licensing age in most European countries-most 18-year-olds would have graduated from high school. Indeed, in those few European countries that have recently lowered their minimum driving age-e.g., Sweden and Norway-there has been growing interest in offering driver education/training in the high school system.

In most of the countries with mandatory driver education, theoretical instruction must include the following topics: traffic regulations, rules of behavior, attitudes toward the car, automotive engineering, behavior in risky situations, first aid, behavior of other road users, identification of risky situations, vehicle safety and vehicle maintenance. The teaching methods most commonly used in the classroom involve lectures by driving instructors and classroom talks; few countries indicated that group sessions were normally used in-class and only one identified role playing as a teaching method.

In most of the 27 countries surveyed by Heinrich et al. (in press), learners also obtain their practical experience from a professional driving instructor. Practice with a lay person-e.g., parents, friends -occurs in only 17 of the 27 countries; indeed, such instruction is not permitted in 10 countries. Few of the countries that allow supervised practice place any kind of restriction on driving. For example, among these 17 countries, only eight restrict driving on certain routes (e.g., motorways), four have speed limit restrictions and two prohibit driving on weekends.

The following topics are mandatory in practical instruction in most of the European countries: basic driving task, taking account of regulations, and driving in heavy and little traffic. Many of these countries also require driving on motorways, driving at night, driving in rural areas, driving in built up areas, and emergency braking at high speeds. Only five of the countries surveyed mandate driving on a slippery road.

In most of these countries, the following methods are normally used in practical driver instruction: offroad training, non-standardized route in traffic, and standardized route in traffic. Driver simulators, commentary driving and hazardous roadway conditions are used in about a dozen countries. Most of these countries also use specially-equipped driving school cars.

3.3.2 Recent Developments in Driver Education and Licensing. This section describes recent changes in driver education and licensing practices that have either been implemented or are being considered in France, Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands.

Recent developments in France. Licensing and education procedures in France are similar to those found in several U.S. states. As mentioned previously, in many U.S. states the minimum age of licensing is 18 but licensing at 16 or 17 is permitted if a driver education course is completed. In addition, those states that have or are considering implementing a more graduated approach to licensing also require a mandatory period of supervised driving of several months for learners under the age of 18. Similar to these U.S. states, the minimum licensing age in France is 18. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds are also allowed to drive if they participate in an "apprentissage" system of training, which involves a combination of both formal and private driving instruction.

Formal instruction involves both in-class education and in-vehicle training. Although there is not a compulsory number of theory lessons in the in-class instruction, the topics covered must be linked to the objectives outlined in the apprenticeship log book provided to the learner. This linkage is also required for the in-vehicle training, which involves a minimum of 20 hours of instruction at a driving school. Topics include the control of the car at slow speeds in light traffic, correct position on carriageways, at intersections etc., driving under normal conditions on urban and rural roads, and awareness of particularly difficult situations. Instructors must also conduct a prior assessment of the learner's knowledge and attitudes to decide on the training requirements.

The formal instruction is followed by a period in which the learner can drive but only under supervision. In this respect, the French apprentissage system is similar to the approach taken in several U.S. states, except in France the period of accompanied driving is much more structured and controlled. In addition, training is compulsory, even if the person waits until they are 18 to obtain a license. This is not the case in any U.S. state. Indeed, in France most young people do wait until they are 18 to apply for a license. Very few (only about 10 percent) take advantage of the opportunity to drive earlier that is offered by the apprentissage system.

According to Lynam and Twisk, crash-based evaluations of this system are so far inconclusive. Nonetheless, the current focus in France is on improving and extending the apprentissage system of training given the low rates of participation in it. The improvements to the system that are being considered include the development of educational materials for the accompanying person and enhancements to the continuity and quality of contacts between the learner driver, the accompanying person and the driving school trainer.

Recent developments in Germany. The minimum driving age in Germany is 18 and driver training is a pre-licensing requirement. All practical training is conducted by an approved instructor and no private practice with friends or relatives is permitted. This stands in marked contrast to the recent trend in other European countries as well as in North America to permit practice at an earlier age, under supervision. In fact, the German government prohibited the training of learner drivers by lay persons in 1986. Lynam and Twisk provide the following reasons for this prohibition:

.. the layman generally have no educational concept or the competence enabling them to judge learning processes in order to use corrective measures. In addition, there is the risk that wrong behavior is practiced during early learner driving which is very difficult to correct at a later stage. (p. 47)

The formal course includes both practical and theoretical instruction. The practical in-vehicle training consists of several 45-minute lessons. The number of lessons and the total number of hours of training is not mandated but left to the discretion of the instructor who must judge when the learner has acquired the necessary skills. As discussed previously, this competency-based approach is used in a few driver education/training programs in the United States and is characteristic of the new program in Washington. However, there is a requirement in Germany for the learner to receive the following instruction for a minimum time period:

Notably absent from the German system is compulsory training in skid control or driving on wet surfaces. Although such programs are available, they are not mandated. The primary reason for this is that evaluations have shown that this type of emergency skill training can produce negative safety outcomes (see section 2.0 of this report for a discussion of these study results).

The in-class theory instruction focuses primarily on the technical and cognitive aspects of driving, including licensing matters and regulations on vehicle operations; regulations governing behavior in traffic; hazard perception/knowledge and traffic dangers; and information on traffic violations and their penalties (Lynam and Twisk, p. 25). A minimum of 18 hours classroom instruction is required.

The major improvement that is being considered to the theory training in Germany is to place more emphasis on the motivations of young drivers that relate, for example, to the search for independence and autonomy. This could include topics such as coping with impatience, self-assertion in groups, behavior 'M competitive situations, making decisions and time planning.

In this context, curriculum materials have already been developed for both in-class and in-vehicle that focus on significant types of driving situations that can trigger emotional responses, such as self-assertion when driving with juvenile friends, withstanding pressure in everyday traffic situations, and how to deal with impatience (Heinrich, in press). In the program, students are presented with different situations and asked to confront their possible feelings and to consider alternative behaviors. The extent to which this program is currently being used by driver educators is not known.

According to Lynam and Twisk, there is also growing recognition in Germany that "the task of driver training requires not only to teach skills and knowledge, but also the ability to develop positive attitudes" (p.46). However, driving instructors do not generally have the skills for shaping attitudes, especially by using methods such as role playing, discussion and group work. Accordingly, consideration is being given to improving the skills of instructors so that they can use these methods to address attitudinal and motivational factors that contribute to young driver crashes.

Recent developments in Britain. Unlike France and Germany, driver education/training is not compulsory in Britain. Even so, virtually all learners (98 percent) take some driving lessons (Lynam and Twisk 1995). The improvements that are currently being considered are to encourage new drivers to take further training after passing their road test. To achieve this objective, the government has enlisted the support of the insurance industry to offer discounts on premiums to those newly qualified drivers who take further training with approved driving instructors. According to Lynam and Twisk, this scheme, which is called "Pass Plus", was launched in February 1995. It provides six hours of training in those situations where the new driver may not have adequate practice prior to their road test-e.g., driving at night, in different weather conditions, and on motorways.

Recent developments in Belgium. Similar to France, the licensing system in Belgium allows persons under the age of 18 to drive if they take some form of driver training. However, the system of driver education/training is rather complex. According to Vrieze (pers. com.), there are basically four ways the learner can obtain a full driver's license. These are described below.

In the first method, learners age 16.9 years take 12 hours of theory at a driving school, pass the theoretical examination and then take 12 hours of practical training at the driving school-two hours with their guide, a non-professional teacher. They are then allowed to drive under supervision-i.e., with their guide-for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of IS months. Before passing the practical test, they must take two hours of practical training with their guide. A full driving license can only be obtained when they are 18 years old.

For the other three methods of training, the learner is not required to take in-class theory instruction prior to the theoretical test. However, if they fail the test twice, they are obliged to go to a driving school for theory instruction.

The second method involves 10 hours of practical training at a driving school and practice with a guide. These learners are required to pass the practical test at least eight months and no more than nine months after obtaining a provisional license.

The third method involves 20 hours of practical training at a driving school after which the learner is allowed to drive unsupervised. They must pass the practical test at least three months and no longer than six months after obtaining their provisional license.

Finally, the fourth method involves non-professional training. Once the learner has passed the theoretical test, they are allowed to drive under supervision. They must pass the practical test at least 9 months and no more than 12 months after obtaining a provisional driving license.

The system is even more complex in that learners can choose mixed training, going from one of the above methods to another.

Of particular note during the learner's period, regardless of the training method chosen, the novice is subject to a weekend, nighttime curfew-they are not allowed to drive on Friday, Saturday or Sunday between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Thus, the Belgian system has some of the elements of graduated licensing-i.e., an extended period of supervised driving and a night driving restriction. Interest in restrictions on driving such as a night curfew is lacking in other European countries because of concerns that these measures could potentially have detrimental effects on mobility-e.g., access to education and work opportunities (Lynam and Twisk 1995).

The system of training in Belgium is currently being evaluated.

Recent developments in Norway. Prior to 1995, the licensing system in Norway had two phases. In the first phase, persons aged 17 could take driver education/training, which included 30 hours of theory and 20 hours of basic driver training as well as a one-hour skid course, and a course on highway driving, which included 8 hours theory and 10 hours driving. At age 18, the learner could take the license test to obtain a phase-two preliminary license. Practical self training was permitted for a minimum of four months and the novice had to take further training before progressing to a permanent license.

The second stage of training included three, 4-hour courses in skid control, theory and night driving.

In January 1995, Norway implemented a new driver education and driver licensing system to provide learners with more opportunity to practice driving under supervision. The new system allows driving at an earlier age and places much less emphasis on skid control training, largely as a result of the Glad evaluation that showed such courses have negative effects (see section 2.0 for a discussion of this study). The system is also similar to the apprentisage system in France in that it combines accompanied driving and professional training. Persons aged 16 and 17 are required to take training in a driving school, which consists of skid driving (two hours driving and one hour classroom theory), dark driving (one hour demonstration/theory and a minimum of 30 minutes driving) and driving in ordinary traffic, especially on highways (five hours). Instruction in skid driving now focuses more on making the novice understand their own limitations-i.e., insight training.

During this phase, the learner can also drive if accompanied by a person 25 years of age who has been licensed for five years. At age 18, if the written test and the more extensive on-road test (the test length was increased substantially from 45 minutes to 70 minutes) are passed, the young person receives a two-year probationary license.

A program has also been developed in Norway that attempts to mitigate the overconfidence engendered by skill training (Borch and Heggdal 1989). In this program, emergency situation training is given prior to the theoretical training, which is taken within a week of completing the practical training. Larger obstacles, visual obstructions, sand sacks, and lane indicator lights are used to increase difficulty and risk perception; course content emphasizes the driver's decision making and awareness of risks; and the instructor's role places more emphasis on discussion and dialogue with the student to enhance self-awareness and insight.

An evaluation of this new program compared a group of 300 learner drivers with a control group who took the normal training program. Unfortunately, very few details are available on the results of the evaluation. The information that is available concerns process, not outcome effectiveness. For example, the experimental group was more pleased with the course than the control group and the drivers with less experience reported that they got more out of the alternative course than did the drivers with more experience.

Recent developments in the Netherlands. A one-day course has been developed in the Netherlands to sensitize young novices to "hazard" and to modify self-imposed task demands by means of theory classes and practical driver training. Course participants experience their own limitations in driving skills as a means to improve their self-assessment.

The extent to which this new program is being used by the driver training industry is not known. In addition, the safety benefits of the program have not been evaluated.

3.3.3 Summary. There are many similarities and differences in the structure, content and delivery of driver education/training programs across Europe. These programs tend to be compulsory and include both theoretical and practical instruction. Much of the emphasis is on traffic rules and basic vehicle control under normal driving situations. However, some of these programs also require instruction in more demanding situations, such as at night and on motorways.

Instruction in private driving schools is the norm in most of these countries, largely because the minimum driving age is I 8, an age when most young people would have completed high school. This appears to be changing somewhat with the move toward lower driving ages in some countries.

In contrast to the situation in North America, most European countries do not permit the learner to practice driving with a lay person-i.e., a relative or friend. The responsibility for practical instruction is almost the exclusive domain of professional driving instructors. The recent trend, at least in a few countries, however, appears to be to allow earlier driving under a combination of professional training and private supervision.

There has also been growing interest, at least in Britain, in having licensed drivers voluntarily take further training in those situations in which they may not have had adequate practice prior to their road test.

Little interest appears to have emerged in Europe regarding graduated licensing, with the possible exception of Belgium. The complex training system in Belgium does include some of the elements of graduated licensing -e.g., night driving restriction on weekends. Although a few countries require that novices drive at lower speeds and restrict driving on certain routes (e.g., motorways), the notion of graduated licensing, which can involve additional restrictions (e.g., night curfew), has largely been rejected because of concerns that such a system would restrict mobility. Accordingly, the emphasis in Europe will likely continue to be placed on earlier licensure under an extended period of supervision -a practice that is also becoming more commonplace in Canada and the United States-and methods to improve driver education/training.

Improvements that have already been made or are being considered include a greater emphasis on the motivations and attitudes of young drivers, enhanced instruction in risk perception and assessment, insight training to better self-assess limitations in driving abilities; and a better understanding of the relationship between emotions and driving. Since these programs have not yet been evaluated, their safety impact remains unknown.

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During the past decade in New Zealand and Australia, considerable emphasis has been placed on the design and implementation of graduated licensing systems to address the problem of young driver crashes.

Recent developments in driver education include efforts to develop uniformity in driver education/training practices and the development and implementation of new driver education and training programs.

These initiatives are considered below.

3.4.1 Recent Developments in Driver Licensing. Although the concept of graduated licensing initially emerged in the United States, New Zealand and Australia were among the first countries to design and implement such a system.

New Zealand. In 1987, New Zealand was the first country to introduce a graduated license program. As part of this scheme, novices can take driver education/training to reduce the length of time in each of the two learning stages. The first six-month period can be reduced to three months if the learner successfully completes a recognized driver training course; the second 18-month period can be reduced to nine months if the driver successfully completes a defensive driving or an advanced driving course.

Recently Land Transport in New Zealand announced a review of graduated licensing, including issues related to driver education and training such as whether there should be incentives for taking training.

Australia. Historically, there has been a strong interest in graduated licensing in Australia, especially at the federal level. Indeed, since 1980, the Federal Office of Road Safety (FORS) has encouraged states to develop and implement graduated licensing systems. To assist them in doing so, in 1983 they proposed a model system made up of four six-month stages. This original proposal did not include any provisions for driver education/training.

Over the years, FORS has refined their recommended model and all states have introduced elements of such a graduated licensing system. In the case of Victoria, Australia, for example, the new scheme, which was introduced in July 1990, includes a learner's permit, now available at age 16, to enable greater supervised driving experience. A learner's permit must be held for at least 12 months before entering the next, three year probationary stage but the applicant must be at least 18 years of age to do so. Thus, similar to the situation in a few European countries, the system in Victoria allows earlier driving but under an extended period of supervision.

None of the states in Australia, however, have made driver education/training mandatory or allowed any special treatment for those who successfully complete driver education/training-e.g., a time discount, as is the case in New Zealand and several provinces in Canada.

Recent developments in licensing in Australia have focused primarily on testing procedures. AUSTROADS, the national road authority, has recently completed a project to identify novice car driver competencies required for initial licensing. In this work, they have defined competencies as "the ability to perform activities within the driving function to the standard expected for licensing" (Psycorp Pty Ltd. 1995). The performance based competencies that were identified as important include:

During the course of the project, attitudinal and motivational aspects of driver competencies were also identified as being important influences on driving performance. These were, however, not included in the list of competencies because it was felt that "attitudes and motivations are abstract terms and difficult to formally measure from a licensing perspective" (p. 4).

AUSTROADS has held discussions with state authorities to encourage them to make use of the competency specifications highlighted in their report in developing programs for initial licensing of novice car drivers. According to Christie (pers. com. 1995), one of the project investigators, these standards for license testing have been "well received by the state authorities and funding of follow-up research and development to flesh out associated training curriculum and assessment procedures seems likely to be funded (on a national basis) in the next 12 months". If the new procedures are adopted in the various Australian states, the driver education community will have to consider modifying their curriculum to complement the new testing procedures.

3.4.2 Recent Developments in driver education/training. New driver education programs have been developed in New Zealand and Australia. Efforts in Australia have also included developing new standards. These initiatives are described below.

New Zealand. A new secondary school driver education program the "Star Driver"-that has recently been developed takes a health-promotion perspective and relies on Jessor's "Problem Behavior" Theory (Jessor and Jessor 1977). This program is worth describing in more detail because it is novel and differs considerably from traditional approaches to driver education. Indeed, rather than focusing mostly on "how to drive" the program attempts to instill responsible driving behaviors recognizing that such behaviors are developed and maintained by the interplay of behavioral, personal and environmental factors. As described by Kirkwood (nd), the course combines practical driving skills training (a minimum of 12 hours) with self-management training based on social learning theory -e.g., avoid emotional appeals and moralizing; provide factual information in an unemotional way; teach how to resist social pressure to indulge in damaging behavior.

In the course, students are given factual information on road risks, meet peers who have suffered major crash injuries, learn techniques to manage themselves and others in relation to alcohol and driving, and are oriented to seek personal challenges other than risky driving. The program uses the commentary driving technique to assist students in developing the higher order perceptual skills needed to "read the road".

Parents are also directly involved in the program by providing additional practice in vehicle handling and contracting with the student to keep a log of driving distances and conditions as well as collisions and other incidents experienced during the course. In addition, the program uses a modification of a pilot judgment training (PJT) program which was developed for light aircraft pilots in the United States. The PJT program, which is based on critical incident analysis, focuses on a set of key dangerous attitudes-e.g., thrill seeking, impulsiveness-and teaches students to monitor themselves for these patterns. In addition, Kirkwood notes that "students are also taught that when they detect themselves making an error in judgement they should review the sequence of events since poor judgements generally occur as part of a chain" (p. 370). Since the PJT also considers that poor judgments are a symptom of stress, the "Star Drive?' program includes stress management techniques.

The program was initiated as part of a high school health and social education syllabus on a pilot basis in Auckland under the sponsorship of Caltex Oil. Although there were efforts to evaluate the program such an evaluation was not completed.

Australia. The Federal Office of Road Safety (FORS) is currently developing a practical guide to driver education and training. In addition, Federal, State and Territory Ministers have recently endorsed a National Road Safety Action Plan. Priority actions include improved driver training by developing and adopting nationally consistent and cost-effective standards.

A new driver education curriculum has also recently been developed in New South Wales that focuses on a more cognitively-based approach to skill development by helping students establish cause and effect relationships in their understanding of the driving task. According to the authors of this curriculum:

Through learning experiences which can highlight how the world operates students can establish strong cause effect/consequence relationships, and so form a realistic "world view". They can also be encouraged to respond to situations in an adaptive way by locating the causes of the driving outcomes on factors over which they have some control. (p. 4-5)

The new program in New South Wales also adopts a lifestyle emphasis. The curriculum includes a section on lifetime driving habits which is described below:

This section involves developing positive attitudes toward using bad experience to improve driving. It involves accepting the need for self-control and for self-development so as to improve future driving habits.

This program also places an emphasis on overconfidence. The approach is to have instructors take great care to avoid giving students the impression that the learning they engage in will make them safer drivers merely by their performance of specific tasks, or by reading certain materials. In other words, instructors are cautioned to avoid encouraging an optimism bias in students about the outcomes of the learning experiences.

3.4.3 Summary. Similar to the situation in Canada and the United States, a primary emphasis in New Zealand and Australia in addressing the problem of young driver crashes has been graduated licensing, which includes an extended period of supervised driving. In the Australian states, however, little attention has been placed on integrating driver education/training into the new licensing systems. This is decidedly not the case in New Zealand, where driver education/training has been intimately linked to the graduated licensing program-the first six-month period can be reduced to three months if the learner completes a basic course in driver education; the second 18-month period can be reduced to nine months if the driver completes a defensive driving or an advanced course.

Recent developments in driver licensing and driver education in New Zealand and Australia have included the development of novice car driver competencies required for initial licensing, which will likely result in major changes to the focus and content of driver education programs, the review and development of national standards for such programs, and the development of new curricula that take a more cognitively-based approach to skill development as well as a health promotion and self-management approach to driving. The effectiveness of these initiatives has not been tested so their safety impact is so far unproven.

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Concern about the high rates of collision involvement among young drivers has spawned renewed interest in North America and elsewhere in examining ways to improve driver licensing and driver education/training. Major recent developments are summarized below.

3.5.1 Recent Developments in Driver Licensing and implications for Driver Education/Training. This section summarizes changes in the licensing of young drivers that have direct implications for driver education/training. The most significant developments include the introduction of graduated licensing and a related change that involves an extended period of supervised driving. In both cases, the structure of the system has implications for driver education/training.

Voluntary driver education and time discounts. Perhaps the most interesting and potentially most controversial role that has been assigned to driver education/training emerges in those graduated licensing systems where its completion qualifies the young driver for a time discount-completing a driver education course reduces the length of time the young person must spend in the graduated licensing system. This approach was taken in the first three comprehensive graduated licensing systems introduced (New Zealand and the provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia, Canada).

This time discount provides an incentive for novices to take driver education/training so that they can exit the graduated system sooner than they would have otherwise if they had not taken training.

A variation on this approach has been introduced in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. In this province, a time discount is provided in the first stage of licensing if the learner has passed an approved driver training course. However, the time discount achieved in the first stage of licensing is then added to the second stage, so that novices remain in the overall program for two years, regardless of whether they have completed driver education/training.

Mandatory driver education/training. In several U.S. states that have already implemented elements of graduated licensing or are considering doing so, driver education/training is a mandatory requirement during the learner or provisional licensing stages. This appears to be a logical extension of existing practices that required anyone under the age of 18 to complete driver education/training to obtain a license. Although the mandatory requirement for driver education is an understandable continuation of current practices, in view of the disappointing results of the evaluation research regarding the safety impact of existing driver education/training programs, it is regrettable that greater attention has not been given to improving education/training content and delivery to enhance its potential safety impact as well as to complement the features of the licensing system. For example, graduated licensing establishes several stages to emulate the incremental learning process, so education and training programs could be structured to complement this sequence.

In this context, and on a more positive note, NHTSA has recommended that states adopt as an integral part of their graduated licensing system two stages of driver education-a basic driver education course in the learner stage and an advanced safety-oriented course in the intermediate stage. Such a system is being implemented in Michigan and some form of multi-stage driver education/training is found in Nova Scotia and a few European countries.

Gaining experience under supervision. In Europe, which has traditionally not permitted licensing prior to the age of I8, a few countries have reduced the minimum licensing age but are placing greater emphasis on providing novices with experience under supervision. In this approach, formal driver instruction is typically combined in a structured and controlled manner with informal practice with a lay person-i.e., parent or guardian.

This recent development has a parallel in the approach becoming more and more popular in North America, where the minimum licensing age is already 16. To minimize risk during the early stages of driving, a mandatory and reasonably lengthy learner's period is being introduced. In addition, recent attention has been directed towards developing program materials to facilitate parent participation during this extended learner stage.

3.5.2 Recent Developments in Driver Education/Training. The structure and content of driver education/training programs in North America and elsewhere have not changed dramatically over the past few decades. In the United States and Canada, most programs offer 25-30 hours of in-class and 6-10 hours in-vehicle instruction. These programs cover the basics of driving and are primarily oriented towards preparing the novice driver to pass the road test. A similar situation regarding driver education/training currently exists in Australia and New Zealand.

Considerably more importance has been given to driver education/training programs in most European countries. Such programs are most often compulsory, includes both in-class and in-vehicle instruction and focus primarily on the technical and cognitive aspects of driving. In addition, a few countries also require that formal instruction include more complex and potentially hazardous driving situations, such as driving at night, in rural higher speed areas and on motorways. Although advanced training in skid control and wet surface driving is also a requirement in a few countries, interest in such courses has diminished considerably because evaluation studies have shown them to have safety disbenefits.

In recent years there has been growing interest in identifying ways to improve the safety impact of driver education/training. Much of the focus in North America and elsewhere has been on improvements in the structure and content of programs. Evaluations are needed to determine whether these improved programs actually have safety benefits.

Several of the recent developments are summarized below.

Improving the structure/delivery of driver education/training. As mentioned previously, there is growing interest in identifying ways for novices to gain much needed driving skills and on-road experience under more controlled, lower risk conditions. An approach that has been taken is to initially require learners to take formal instruction on the basics and then to allow them to drive but only under supervision. The presence of a licensed adult driver in the vehicle serves at least two functions. First, it is unlikely that novices will engage in any risk taking behaviors or be distracted by peers with an adult in the vehicle. Second, the adult can monitor the novice's driving to correct mistakes and ensure that practice and experience is being gained in diverse situations.

If novices are allowed to drive under supervision, however, it is critical that they receive the proper support and guidance. Indeed, the major concern of driver educators in allowing novices to practice with a lay person is that these supervisors lack the knowledge and skills to impart safe driving practices. To ensure that parents and relatives do not teach novices unsafe driving behaviors (i.e., bad habits), programs have been or are being developed to assist them in performing this supervisory role. In addition, parents are being encouraged to become more directly involved with professional instructors in formal driver education courses.

Another structural problem of driver education/training courses is that they are often constrained by a restricted time frame and cannot tailor instruction to the needs and skill level of learners. In response to this limitation, competency-based programs have been developed that initially assess the learner's skills and capabilities so that training is more focused on areas that require improvement. In addition, these programs are not based on rigid time requirements but focus on continuous evaluation of student performance capabilities so that knowledge and skills are mastered before proceeding to further, more advanced instruction.

improving the content of driver education/training. There has been growing recognition that formal instruction focuses too much on the technical aspects of driving-i.e., vehicle Control -and not enough on higher order skills-e.g., decision making-and motivational factors. To rectify this situation, a recent focus has been on identifying ways to improve the novice's ability to make appropriate decisions and to judge risk accurately in a variety of hazardous driving situations.

Recent initiatives have also attempted to identify ways to influence some of the critical attitudes and motivations that give rise to young driver crashes. These programs recognize that the way in which youth drive emerges from their lifestyle and the interplay of behavioral, personal and environmental factors. To counter the potentially negative influences of lifestyle and immaturity, such programs have adopted, for example, a health promotion and self-management approach to driving.

Other programs target the overconfidence that youth may have developed as a result of increased skill levels acquired in training. In this context, evaluation studies have shown that graduates of advanced skill training courses-e.g., skid control and wet surface training-have more crashes than non-graduates. It is possible that such courses instill in young drivers, especially males, an unrealistic sense of their own abilities to avoid a collision. This overconfidence in their driving ability may result from their failure to appreciate the complexity of the driving task and the length of time needed to become a proficient driver. To eliminate or neutralize this problem, programs have recently been developed that focus less on skill development and more on providing insights into the driver's skill limitations in diverse driving situations.

Finally, driver education/training programs typically attempt to cover the basics of driving as thoroughly as possible. As a consequence, relatively limited time is spent on skill deficiencies that are more directly related to risk and crash involvement. Some programs have become more empirically-based by ensuring that the core skills and capacities to be learned are those known to be related to the high collision risk of young drivers.

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Previous sections reviewed the scientific evidence on the safety impact of formal driver instruction and examined recent developments in driver education and training. This information forms the basis for the current section, which addresses the central issue of this report-what role can driver education/training play in a graduated licensing system? The answer to this question is dependent on several factors, the most important of which is the capacity for driver education/training to reduce the risk of collision among young drivers. If, for example, there was no evidence that driver education/training is an effective countermeasure and there was no reason to suspect that it could be, this would have rather profound implications for the role that education/training might play in a graduated licensing system.

Accordingly, this section begins with a consideration of the fundamental issue of the safety benefits of driver education/training-its track record and potential. It then examines the role that driver education/training can play in a graduated licensing system.


The scientific evaluations performed to date provide little support for the claim that driver instruction is an effective safety countermeasure -the harsh reality is that the overwhelming preponderance of evidence fails to show that formally trained students have lower crash rates than those who do not receive such training. Worse yet, some formal training has actually been associated with an increase in crash risk.

Such an apparently sweeping condemnation of driver education/training is at the very least somewhat perplexing. It is perplexing because it is inconsistent with the significant investment that society has already made and continues to make in driver education/training. In part this continued investment is supported by a persistent and firm belief that driver education does work, or can work, despite the disappointing evaluation results to date. In our opinion, this belief should not be discounted as simply irrational. Society places considerable stock in the power of education and training. Indeed, from a broader perspective, it might be more irrational to believe that driver education/training does not or cannot work.

Nonetheless, as irrational as it might be to some, we find no reason to disagree with the conclusions of others who have previously reviewed the findings of scientific evaluations-there is no compelling evidence that formal instruction reduces the crash risk of new drivers.

But can it work-can driver education/training produce safety benefits? The answer to this question, which is the topic of this section, is of course speculative but some insights can be gained by examining two related issues-why existing programs have failed to produce the expected safety benefits and what recent changes in driver education/training hold promise for reducing the crash risk of young drivers. These issues are pursued below.

4.1.1 Driver Education/Training Fails to Concentrate on the Knowledge and Skills judged Critical for Safe Driving. One possible explanation for the failure of existing programs to produce bottom-line safety benefits is that the curriculum fails to emphasize the knowledge and skills most critical to safe driving performance. Historically, and even today, driver education and training programs are based largely on professional opinion. Experts have identified the various tasks and sub-tasks-e.g., over 1,700 tasks-involved in driving (McKnight and Hundt 1971) and these have been used as the basis for developing driver education curricula. Similarly, the skills that are typically judged to be critical to safe motorcycle riding were initially identified, at least in North America, in 1974 by the Motorcycle Task Analysis-an exhaustive inventory of performances, knowledge and skills involved in the operation of a motorcycle (McKnight and Heywood 1974).

In both these analyses, an attempt was made to determine which of the many tasks were essential to safe vehicle operation. This was achieved by assigning to each task a 'criticality rating', which is an expression of expert judgement regarding crash frequencies and severity.

The content of many driver education and training programs is based on such a task analysis, so the curriculum has, at least, face validity -i.e., the knowledge and skills being taught are believed to be important for the safe operation of a motor vehicle, However, as has been noted (e.g., Prem and Good 1984) "these criticality values are products of human judgement and, to date, have not been validated against actual accident data. Validation has not been possible because data relating individual behaviors to accident loss are unavailable." In a similar vein, Waller (1 985) observed that:

...until there is a careful empirical analysis of the driving task, our programs will continue to be based on nothing more than the collective judgement of "experts" in the field, which is often no more than pooled ignorance. (p. 93-94).

Thus there is often little empirical evidence that these skills are indeed critical to the driving task, let alone central to collision avoidance. This suggests that most programs teach the student how to drive and pass the road test but may fail to provide adequate grounding in the skills that are associated with high collision rates among young drivers. Indeed, as mentioned previously, graduates of these courses have been shown to perform better on skill tests than nongraduates (e.g., Stock et al. 1983) but still have no different or worse crash involvement.

If potential improvements in the content and safety benefits of formal driver instruction are to occur, they need to be based on the best evidence about the causes of collisions among young drivers. In this context, a recent study by Mayhew and Simpson (1995) provides some guidance. This work involved a major review of the state of knowledge in the field to identify the critical skill deficiencies among young drivers that place them at increased risk of collision. This comprehensive review of existing scientific literature identified empirical evidence of skill-related differences between novices and experienced drivers that contribute to the higher collision risk of beginners. The primary purpose of the study was to identify those experience-related skills and capacities that are critical to the safe operation of a motor vehicle and which, if absent, render newly licensed drivers at risk of collision.

Although research in this area is far from definitive, certain consistencies did emerge from the extensive review of the literature, which suggested a number of skills and behaviors that are critical for young drivers to acquire. These can be conveniently grouped into four broad categories: psychomotor skills, perceptual skills, cognitive skills and psychosocial/lifestyle skills (the latter is discussed in a subsequent section).

Of the many psychomotor skills that appear to be relevant to the safe operation of a motor vehicle, the research showed that only two clearly contribute to a greater risk of collision among beginners: steering control for maintaining consistent position in the driving lane in a smooth manner, and speed control for accelerating and decelerating the vehicle smoothly and adjusting speed appropriately to changing conditions and circumstances. Moreover, novice drivers are deficient in their ability to integrate and coordinate these skills effectively so that several can be carried out simultaneously (sometimes referred to as multitasking or parallel processing). This integration must be sufficiently overlearned so that it occurs without significant loss of effectiveness when the demands of the driving task increase.

Of the various perceptual skills usually believed to differentiate novices from more experienced drivers, research suggests that only two are critical to reducing the risk of collision: visual search/scanning strategies that provide effective and efficient monitoring of the driving environment and, in particular, the use of peripheral vision; and hazard perception, which is the ability to detect, recognize and respond to potential hazards.

Along with psychomotor and perceptual weaknesses, inexperienced drivers often lack the necessary cognitive skills. However, of the various cognitive skills believed to differentiate novice from experienced drivers, the research literature suggests that only risk assessment and decision-making are critical to reducing the risk of collision. Risk assessment involves the ability to assess accurately the objective risks associated with different driving situations, especially hazardous ones; decision-making refers to the ability to make appropriate decisions in situations that have alternative courses of action as well as the capacity to solve problems encountered on the road.

The importance of these skills has also been underscored recently by other experts. For example, Lonero et al. (1995) included these skills in their framework for a new driver education curriculum. Lynam and Twisk (1995), in their review of driver licensing and education in Europe, also recommend that training techniques should be improved to include more emphasis on cognitive skills, such as hazard recognition and risk assessment.

It is important to note that many, if not most, existing driver education courses actually do cover the key psychomotor, perceptual and cognitive skills outlined above. The problem is that they are usually covered in a relatively superficial manner, owing to the scope of topics being presented and the limited time frame available. In their review of this issue, Mayhew and Simpson (1995) indicated that the effectiveness of courses might be improved through a more judicious selection of content, with emphasis being placed on those skills that have been shown to be related to collision involvement.

Efforts to address these critical factors should also be linked to the types of driving conditions in which they are vital to reducing the risk of collision. That is, the skills described above are less relevant in driving conditions characterized as low-risk/low demand (i.e., those conditions that form the basis for much of the driving experience in traditional education/training programs, such as daylight hours, low speed roads, residential settings). In contrast, these skills are very relevant in high-risk/high-demand conditions that characterize situations most associated with serious collisions among young drivers (e.g., at night, on sharp road curvatures, on high speed roads). Accordingly, the safety impact of driver instruction might be improved if it emphasized not only acquisition of key skills and capabilities but their acquisition in situations where their application is most relevant -i.e., in those situations where young drivers are at high risk.

In this context, the driving conditions in which young drivers have been shown to be overrepresented or at high risk include: speed-related collisions; collisions on road curvatures; nighttime and weekend collisions; crashes involving pulling into the path of oncoming traffic; rear-end collisions; intersection collisions; and alcohol-related collisions. Of course, the challenge is to design such learning experiences, either real or simulated, that do not place the novice or the instructor in situations that can have negative consequences.

As described in an earlier section of this report (Section 3.0), there are several current initiatives in the field of driver education that attempt to address some of these critical skills and high risk driving situations. The night driving course in Norway, which has been shown to be effective, is one example. Training at night is also part of the new program that is currently being evaluated in Pennsylvania. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is currently developing an interactive multimedia computer program that is designed to teach novice drivers how to scan the road and identify traffic risks. A one-day course has also been developed in the Netherlands to sensitize young novices to hazards. And Saskatchewan has designed a driver education curriculum that places greater emphasis on the skills to prevent the types of collisions young drivers experience in that province.

In summary, perhaps one explanation for the failure of driver education to have a significant impact on the collision risk of young drivers is that the courses do not teach the essential safety skills. Most existing curricula are based on expert opinions, which have not always been validated against crash data. However, recent research has identified the key psychomotor, perceptual and cognitive skills that are critical to reducing the risk of collision for new drivers. If driver education/training placed more emphasis on these key skills, particularly in the context of settings in which the execution of these skills are most relevant, it might have an impact on the collision involvement rates of its students.

The potential impact of improved skills training, however, will likely be diminished considerably unless driver education/training also effectively addresses the age-related factors that contribute to the higher crash risk of young drivers. Young novices have a greater likelihood of being involved in a collision because risky behaviors and attitudes are so prevalent among adolescents. And regardless of their skill level, young people are relatively immature and unmotivated to drive safely-indeed, their primary motivation is simply to obtain a driver's license. The extent to which driver education and training can be expected to control or modify such age-related factors is considered in the following sections.

4.1.2 Driver Education Does Teach Safety Skills but Students are Not Motivated to Use Them. It has been suggested that one of the reasons formal instruction has not been able to affect crash risk is that the beneficial effects of safety training are mitigated by forces and conditions beyond the control of the driver education environment. As Waller (1975) has suggested, driver education does instill the necessary knowledge and skills-it gives students what they require in order to be safer drivers-but it cannot ensure that those skills will be put into practice -it cannot influence how students will eventually choose to drive. On the one hand, this leads to a rather pessimistic forecast for driver education. It implies that driver education will never be able to achieve the goal of reducing the collision involvement of its graduates because of the countervailing influence of factors related to how young people eventually choose to drive.

On the other hand, this could be regarded as an opportunity for driver education. If it can be accepted that driver education and training is effective in teaching knowledge and skills, or that it could be structured to be effective, the challenge would be to determine how driver education can also enhance the likelihood that these capabilities will in fact be used. Indeed, several experts have suggested this is a particularly fruitful avenue for driver education to pursue.

Wilde (in press), for example, has recommended that future curricula for the education of novice drivers should motivate students to drive safely -i.e., to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in training-by using incentives that reduce their willingness to take risks while driving. He recommends that such incentive programs should reward the "bottom line" (i.e., not causing a collision), rather than specific safety behaviors such as wearing a seatbelt or obeying the speed limit. The rationale Wilde offers for this is that "rewarding specific behaviors does not necessarily strengthen the motivation towards safety, and a potential safety benefit due to an increased frequency of one specific form of 'safe' behavior may simply be offset by road users less frequently displaying other forms of 'safe' acting." (p. 21). If Wilde is correct, being rewarded for a collision-free driving record could motivate beginners to use the knowledge and skills acquired in training to reduce their crash risk.

He has even suggested that motivation is more important than attitude. Even if young drivers have negative safety attitudes, this is relatively unimportant if the attractiveness of the reward motivates them to apply their knowledge and skills to drive safely and avoid causing a collision. However, Wilde does suggest that small rewards handed out frequently can actually have an attitude-shaping effect by fostering pro-safety attitudes through a process of "cognitive dissonance." He states that:

... when a small reward changes a person's behavior that person may justify that change by reasoning that the change was for safety's sake rather than due to the insignificant inducement. No such internalization of pro-safety attitudes is necessary when the external inducement is large, because in that case it fully justifies the behavior. (p. 2 1).

Unfortunately, Wilde does not indicate how such a reward program could be designed in a driver education context. And, since an incentive-based driver education program of this sort does not yet exist, the effectiveness of such an approach remains untested. It is noteworthy, however, that graduated licensing in some jurisdictions actually applies an incentive-based approach -i.e.., learners cannot graduate to a full unrestricted license unless they maintain a crash- and violation-free record. This requirement is intended to motivate them to drive safely-i.e., the desire to remove the restrictions and graduate to a full license reduces their willingness to take risks while driving. The extent to which driver education can enhance such a system is discussed in the next section.

The crucial link between motivation and the success of driver education has also been noted by McKnight (1985). He points out that a primary and very legitimate motivation for students in traditional driver education courses is to obtain their license. As a consequence, they learn information and skills most germane to that goal. They are not particularly motivated to learn safe driving practices, which are also not relevant to them, since they have very little driving experience at this point. Given these conditions, McKnight was the first to suggest that "when" things are taught might be as important, if not more important, than "what" is taught. Accordingly, he suggested that an optimal system would be to provide instruction in basic skills prior to licensing, with instruction in safe driving practices not being offered until after licensing. A key point here is that the experience gained in real world driving (i.e., following licensing) would make instruction in safe driving practices more meaningful. As he has observed recently:

... one of the benefits of experience in driving is the opportunity for exposure to events capable of altering beliefs concerning risks. One or two panic stops from 60 mph. will disabuse most drivers of the belief they can ',stop on a dime", just as a car turning right on red into one's path will alter belief in the protection offered by a green light (McKnight 1996, p. 39).

Experiences such as these can motivate novices to accept the value of safe driving behavior and to use their knowledge and skills to avoid similar situations. According to McKnight, however, "the challenge that faces the traffic safety community is finding ways to provide learning experiences that will yield the same benefits as those gained from driving, but without the same risks." (p. 35).

Considerable attention is currently being devoted to the issue of motivation and, in particular, to creating opportunities that will effectively demonstrate to young drivers just how important it is to apply the safe driving skills they have developed. For example, Lonero et al. (1995), in the "model curriculum outline" developed for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, underscored the importance of developing a stronger motivation for safety by, for example, "developing software based on game-theory models to diagnose, clarify, and reinforce modification of new drivers' risk-taking styles and to demonstrate their consequence." (p. 71). NHTSA is developing an interactive-multimedia program that will engage students in a wide range of decision making situations and allow them to experience the consequences of their choices. The program developed in New South Wales focuses on a more cognitively based approach to skill development by helping students establish cause and effect relationships in their understanding of the driving task. These types of initiatives deserve careful scrutiny and evaluation to determine if they have a safety impact.

At the very least, further consideration needs to be given to the issue of motivation-identifying means for increasing the likelihood that young drivers will practice the safety skills they learn.

4.1.3 The Problem of Overconfidence. A curriculum based on risky conditions would likely focus primarily on preventive actions-ensuring that young drivers acquire the skills and capabilities that will minimize the likelihood they will be involved in a collision. Situations will likely continue to arise, however, where young novices will have to react quickly to unanticipated events and circumstances -i.e., emergency situations. Accordingly, instruction in preventive actions could be supplemented by instruction in corrective actions-i.e., emergency maneuvers or advanced collision avoidance techniques, such as skid control, recovering from shoulder drop-off, or steps to follow if the brakes fail.

Evaluations of the effectiveness of programs that teach advanced driving techniques have produced disappointing results, especially with respect to skid, wet surface training. Some studies have found that advanced training does not reduce the collision involvement rates of course graduates. One possible explanation for this is that situations that precipitate the need for emergency skills arise infrequently, so the requirement to deploy these skills is also infrequent. And, given that there is poor retention of skills that are used infrequently (Schneider 1985), advanced skills learned over a relatively short period of time may tend to erode and not be readily available or inappropriately applied in emergency situations one or two years later.

But perhaps of greater importance, the results of several evaluation studies show that course graduates actually have higher collision rates than individuals who did not receive such training (Glad 1988; Katila et al. 1995). The explanation for this is that advanced skills training leads to overconfidence. Not only can overconfidence eliminate normally cautious behavior, it can result in a greater willingness to put oneself at risk -e.g., graduates of advanced skill courses will be less reluctant to drive in adverse conditions because they are confident that they can handle any eventuality.

What seems needed then is a means to provide emergency maneuver training without instilling the unwanted overconfidence. The new system in Finland has actually attempted to do just that by training novices more in anticipatory skills than strictly vehicle handling skills. Unfortunately, as discussed previously, this type of training met with equally disappointing results -the overall number of collisions was greater among those taking the advanced program. And an examination of age differences suggested that the new program adversely affects young novices while older novices did benefit from the program.

Perhaps rather than teaching emergency responses and anticipatory skills, exercises could be developed so that the perceptions of risk and the driver's limitations are stressed more than the actual training of skilled performance. Drivers in advanced courses may need to develop insight into their own limitations. And in this context, the merits of an alternative training program that attempts to mitigate the overconfidence engendered by advanced skill training has actually been tested in Norway (see section 3.0). There has also been some interesting work conducted in Sweden by the Road and Transport Research Institute (Gregersen 1996), which demonstrates that the use of an insight training strategy-designed to make the driver aware of the fact that his own skill in maneuvers such as braking and avoidance in critical situations is limited and unpredictable-is less likely to produce overconfidence than teaching actual crash avoidance skills.

Gregersen has concluded that if drivers are taught only to be skilled, they believe they can handle situations better than they really can. But if they are taught that they should not always rely on their skills and that they should be aware of their own limitations, the overestimation of abilities is considerably lower. For this reason, Gregersen believes that skill training should be complemented with, or replaced by, insight training. The Swedish Road and Transport Institute is examining several ways of applying insight training strategies in advanced skill courses and these developments warrant monitoring.

4.1.4 Lifestyle. As indicated previously, recent research has identified factors that are particularly relevant to the risk of collision for young drivers. In addition to the set of psychomotor, perceptual and cognitive skills are broader psychosocial characteristics such as risk taking and sensation seeking. Collectively, the psychosocial variables that describe a pattern of behavior are commonly referred to as lifestyle and there is now considerable evidence about the strong relationship between lifestyle and collisions involving young drivers (e.g., Beirness, 1996).

At issue is the extent to which short-term programs such as driver education can influence lifestyle and those psychosocial factors that give rise to the risky driving behavior of young people. This issue was discussed at a recent symposium on "New to the Road: Reducing the Risks for Young Motorists." In the summary of key findings, Simpson (1996) indicates that although opinion is divided, there is growing recognition in the field that modifying lifestyle problems does fall within the purview and capacity of the traffic safety system. He states:

As research begins to clarify what the key lifestyle-related factors are, this may yield insights into creative ways by which even the traditional system can respond. For example, group decision-making techniques are being explored in Sweden as a means to make youth aware of the fact they do indeed belong to a high risk group. Given that early attempts in the United States to use such procedures for modifying risky driving were not successful, the results of the Swedish experience will be of considerable interest.

Perhaps of even greater importance, it is essential to recognize that modifying key psychosocial factors does not imply that the intervention must be applied earlier than the age of licensing (i.e., at a time that predates the development of the central problem behaviors). In this regard, the dramatic decline in the risk of collision that occurs with increasing age suggests that there is a normal developmental process that takes the young driver from extremely high risk to much lower risk in the course of only a few years.

The challenge is to identify what the key psychosocial factors are that give rise to the lower risk and attempt to instill them earlier. It is speculative, of course, but factors such as the onset of new roles (e.g., spouse, employee, parent) and the responsibilities and expectations associated with these might be central to the behavioral changes that lead to reduced risk of collision. If the appropriate developmental factors that lead to a diminution in risk can be identified, there might be ways to build these in to accelerate the process.

In short, there is really no need to assume that addressing lifestyle variables requires the system to reach back into the developmental process. Rather, it might involve moving or compressing the natural development process that extends from the age of licensing into the early 20s. (p. 8).

Thus there is general agreement that as part of the developmental process young people eventually "mature out" of risky driving and that the changes in lifestyle behavior that occur over several years contribute to lower collision rates. At issue, however, is the extent to which this process can somehow be accelerated and whether this can occur in a driver education context. Unfortunately, there have been few attempts to modify risky driving styles and, as Simpson notes above, these early efforts in the United States were unsuccessful. For example, Williams (1994) describes an early study by Schuman et al. (1971) to evaluate the effectiveness of an extensive educational program introduced in Michigan in the late 1960s.

High school seniors, mostly males, in the treatment group participated in seven two-hour discussion sessions, dealing with the effects of anger, frustration, and competition on driving; situational factors in driving and how to deal with them; traffic incidents (collisions, close calls etc.) experienced by the participants; and an examination of personal driving styles-their strengths and weaknesses and what changes might be needed. Williams (1994) notes that discussions were facilitated by "trigger films" that depicted potentially dangerous driving situations aggravated by emotional factors and by films of real traffic situations. In addition, personalized letters were sent to each participant 6 and 12 months after the workshops, congratulating the drivers if they had recorded no crashes, or expressing concern if they had been in a crash. The pilot results were encouraging-participants had lower crash rates than a comparison group over the subsequent two-year period. However, this difference was not statistically significant. A follow-up, more extensive study did not find similar positive effects on crashes (Pelz and Williams 1974). Unfortunately, the follow-up study also modified the program-e.g., 6 hours of discussion rather than 14-so the impact of the program as it was initially designed and piloted remains unknown.

Although there have been few efforts to change risky driving behavior, there have been many efforts to prevent or modify some of the other risky lifestyle and problem behaviors evident during adolescence. An extensive review of this literature is beyond the scope of the current report. However, some insights can be gained by reference to several recent articles that have, for example, examined the effectiveness of adolescent alcohol use and substance abuse prevention programs. The findings from these studies underscore how difficult it is to shape or change behaviors that are lifestyle related.

Williams (1994) notes that sophisticated high school programs based on social learning and communication theory principles have had limited success in altering reported alcohol use or its consequences. He found that:

Programs utilizing techniques such as social skills/peer pressure resistance, decision making training, and so forth, either have no effect on alcohol-related behavior or, in a few cases, have had short-term positive effects that dissipate after a few weeks or months (see e.g., Ellickson et al., 1993; Dielman et al., 1989; Hansen et al., 1988; Ellickson and Bell, 1990).

Similar conclusions have been reached by Baer et al. (in press), in a recent article that examines the treatment of adolescent substance abuse from a perspective based on human development. They observe that:

Primary or universal prevention programs based on the educational model applied to individuals, often in the school setting, have not proven to be effective (Mandell, 1992; Moscowitz, 1989; Ennett et al., 1994; Tobler, 1986). Although recent school based prevention studies demonstrate that psychosocial and educational approaches may delay the onset of alcohol and marijuana use (Botvin et al., 1990; Pentz et al., 1989), the effectiveness of such programs to produce significant and sustained changes in drinking or drug use has been questioned; reported effects have been minimal and often short-lived (Ellickson, Bell and McGuigan, 1993; Tobler, 1986). (p. 15).

These studies suggest that educational programs have been largely ineffective or at least have had only minimal influence on modifying lifestyle-related behavior. However, more positive findings of adolescent school-based educational programs have also been reported in the literature. For example, in a recent article Shope (1996) references a review by Hansen (1992; 1993), who found that 14 of the 35 programs reviewed were effective in reducing students' alcohol use. According to Shope, Hansen found that two types of programs were most successful: "those that were comprehensive (including a broad spectrum of prevention strategies) and those that included the social influence content area (peer and other social pressures, resistance skills)". She also references a recent study by Botvin et al. (1995) that found a long-term significant impact of a junior high school drug abuse prevention program. In this study, the authors conclude that such programs can reduce substance abuse if they "(I) include social resistance skills and general life skills, (2) are properly implemented, and (3) include at least two years of booster sessions" (p. 13 1).

Shope et al. (1994) also refer to studies that suggest student assistance and other school-based programs can be helpful in preventing alcohol-related problems for students who are already using alcohol. For example, Farrow (1989) found that a school-based program to prevent driving while intoxicated was associated with significant improvements in target behaviors among high-risk subjects.

In another recent article, Shope et al. (1996) reports that an alcohol abuse prevention program for tenth grade students had desirable effects on alcohol misuse prevention knowledge, alcohol misuse, and refusal skills. The curriculum involved five sessions of 45 minutes each and is based on social learning theory-i.e., teaching about alcohol in its social context. The curriculum emphasized social pressures resistance training, immediate effects of alcohol, risks of alcohol misuse, and social pressures to misuse alcohol. Positive benefits were found at both immediate and two-year follow-up posttests, suggesting that benefits are more than short term. However, the authors point out that the curriculum effects, although significant, were small. They also reference several other studies that demonstrated that high school students' knowledge and behavior related to alcohol can be modestly improved:

Newman et al., at a 1-year follow-up of a small cohort of students, found that knowledge, perceived ability to resist pressures, and riding with a drinking driver were improved among experimental students, although alcohol use was unchanged. In a small study with some methodological limitations, Collins and Cellucci reported positive effects of knowledge, but not on attitudes or alcohol involvement I month after an alcohol education program delivered to tenth- and eleventh-grade students. Duryea and Duryea et al. found positive knowledge, attitude, skill and behavioral effects after an alcohol education program targeting ninth-grade students. (p, 796).

Baer et al. (in press) have also reported some success with a brief motivational intervention to reduce heavy drinking on college campuses. Two-year follow-up assessments showed that students who received the motivational intervention and follow-up on graphic feedback reported significantly less drinking quantity, less drinking frequency and fewer alcohol-related problems at each assessment, compared to the control group. They also observed that:

... this harm reduction effect was noted in comparison to a control group whose drinking and related problems were declining over time. Thus, the intervention seemed to accelerate a natural moderation process and served to reduce risk during a developmental window where drinking risks were extreme. (p. 20).

The extent to which this brief intervention, which relied heavily on motivational interviews, self monitoring of drinking practices and individualized feedback, would work with high school students is unknown.

Finally, based on the results of their own study and those of others, Shope et al. (1996) recommend that the best approach is to:

present a developmentally appropriate alcohol misuse prevention program at several consecutive grade levels, recognizing that young people will respond at different ages to different approaches, information, and social skills training. The ability to resist ongoing societal pressure to use and misuse alcohol must be taught, like mathematics and reading, continuously. True change in the norms and long-term outcomes of alcohol use cannot otherwise be expected. (p. 797).

This brief review of alcohol use and substance abuse efforts underscores the difficulties in preventing and modifying negative lifestyle behaviors that relate to the developmental and maturation process. The task of shaping or modifying risky driving behaviors that reflect adolescent lifestyle is no less daunting and will require a better understanding of the developmental and psychosocial context in which such behavior takes place.

The importance of addressing lifestyle issues through driver education has been recognized in several jurisdictions. As described in Section 3.0 of this report, in New Zealand the "Star Driver" Program takes a health promotion perspective and attempts to instill responsible driving behaviors, recognizing that such behaviors arise from the interplay of behavioral, personal and environmental factors. The new driver education curriculum developed in New South Wales also adopts a lifestyle emphasis, for example, by teaching students to accept the need for self-control and for self development so as to improve driving habits. Curriculum materials have also been developed in Germany that focus on significant types of driving situations that can trigger emotional responses, such as self-assertion when driving with juvenile friends, withstanding pressure in everyday traffic situations and how to deal with impatience. Such lifestyle-oriented approaches may hold promise but need to be evaluated to determine if they actually produce safety benefits.

The point is that lifestyle clearly influences how the young person chooses to drive. Indeed, some authors have even suggested that these factors are so powerful, they cancel benefits that might arise from driver education. At issue then is how the countervailing influence of these lifestyle factors can be tempered and whether this is something that might be achieved through driver education. There is certainly no empirical evidence available as yet that would settle the question and opinion remains sharply divided. Nonetheless, recent developments described above are illustrative of a growing interest in pursuing the matter and such developments warrant monitoring.

4.1.5 Treatment Matching and Driver Education. In the addictions field and, as a consequence, in the field of impaired driving, there is a growing appreciation that to be effective, remediation must be tailored as much as practically feasible to the problems of the client. This is based on the recognition that not all impaired driving offenders are the same (i.e., they do not all need the same treatment). Similarly, not all young drivers are the same-for example, in level of skill, intelligence and reasons for taking training, as well as the choice of vehicle driven -e.g., a motorcycle versus a car. Accordingly, trainees who begin with a relatively low level of skill development could conceivably benefit from skill training. For others, who are more skilled in operating the vehicle, training may only provide a means to reduce insurance premiums or to satisfy a parental demand and, as such, likely provide few safety benefits-an educational approach could be more optimal for them. In this context, better information is needed from evaluation research regarding who does and does not benefit from current programs and why. Such information would provide a basis to develop and tailor formal education and training programs to the specific needs of the novice driver.

In the interim, competency-based programs that focus on evaluating student performance and recognize that students have varying levels of knowledge, skills and capabilities may have some merit. Such programs are currently in place in Washington State and several European countries and may become the norm in Australia, where there is a push to have states develop competency-based approaches for licensing and training of novice car drivers. These programs need to be evaluated to determine their safety impact.

4.1.6 Summary. Research has shown that current driver education/training programs have been unable to affect the crash risk of young drivers and, therefore, the safety value of such programs remains unproven. A critical issue is whether such programs can produce bottom-line safety benefits. The answer to this question is speculative but some insights can be gained through a consideration of why driver instruction has not been effective and what current developments might help overcome these deficiencies.

Among the possible reasons why driver education has not been effective are (1) the skills and capacities that have been shown to reduce the risk of collision are either not taught or given superficial treatment, (2) the importance of motivation in determining whether young drivers will apply the skills they have learned is not recognized, (3) the overconfidence that arises from skill acquisition, particularly advanced skills, is not addressed, (4) lifestyle factors related to risky driving and the developmental process are not addressed, and (5) program curricula tend to treat young drivers as a homogeneous group rather than tailoring program content to meet the needs of the student.

In each of these areas, there are opportunities for improvement and a considerable amount of contemporary activity. However, it is critical to evaluate these programs to determine if they in fact have a safety impact.

Although these recent initiatives may hold some promise as stand-alone changes to driver instruction, major improvements will likely require rethinking the way driver education and training are conceptualized. As observed recently by experts participating in the international symposium, New to the Road.. Reducing Risks for Young Motorists, "Instead of constantly modifying or tinkering with small elements of conventional approaches, it may be time for a complete reconceptualization of the approach to training and education". (Simpson 1996; p. 13) Such a reconceptualization of driver education/training may be possible within a graduated licensing system. The next part of this section considers this possibility.

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Historically, there has been a strong relationship between driver education and driver licensing. As described in previous sections, this relationship has taken many forms. In some jurisdictions driver education/training is compulsory and, accordingly, provides the only means for becoming licensed. In others, driver education/training is only required for certain groups of drivers, typically those aged 16 and 17. In still others, although there is no formal linkage between driver education/training and licensing, novices voluntarily take instruction to prepare for the license tests.

Recently, the relationship between driver education/training and licensing has been strengthened even further with the implementation of graduated licensing systems. In several of the systems introduced to date, education/training has been formally acknowledged as a means to accelerate the learning process, because the time in the graduated licensing program can be reduced by completing a recognized course of instruction. In addition, a graduated licensing program that has two stages of driver education/training-a basic course in vehicle operation and control during the learner stage and a more advanced safety-oriented course in the intermediate stage-has been recommended by NHTSA and is being implemented in at least one state.

This section of the report considers the merits of this recent trend to link education/training with graduated licensing. Such an analysis should be of benefit to jurisdictions contemplating the introduction of a graduated licensing system and considering the role education and training can play in it.

4.2.1 Should Driver Education/Training be Linked with Graduated Licensing? Given that the preponderance of scientific evidence shows that driver education does not reduce young driver crashes, the logical position is that there can be no benefit to linking it with graduated licensing. Moreover, even though recent improvements to am driver education/training, such as those discussed in be the previous section, may hold promise, it could be argued that their safety impact should be established before new and/or modified programs become part of a graduated licensing system. This position maintains that there is currently no role for driver education in a graduated licensing system and that there will be none until such time as a safety benefit is clearly identified.

As will be evident from the discussion below, we have not advocated such a rigid, unilateral position, for two reasons. First, it fails to acknowledge the practical reality that driver education/training is already an integral part of several existing graduated licensing systems; it is also an integral part of many regular licensing systems in the United States and this relationship is likely to be retained when graduated licensing is implemented. Second, it fails to acknowledge potential benefits that might accrue from the linkage of formal instruction with graduated licensing.

Notwithstanding these caveats, given the nature of the existing scientific evidence, at this time we would not recommend that jurisdictions introduce driver education/training into their graduated licensing system if there is no precedent for doing so. If the jurisdiction currently has no special requirements in its licensing system for driver education/training, we see no compelling reason for adding it to its graduated licensing system. There is no empirical evidence that this will "strengthen " the graduated licensing system.

On the other hand, there are jurisdictions that have a well-established precedent linking formal instruction with their licensing system. In this case, it is very likely that this precedent will be extended to their graduated licensing system. If this occurs, we do not recommend that the current driver education/training be merged with the graduated licensing system without due consideration for factors that might serve to strengthen that relationship. Some of these are considered below.

4.2.2 Key Features that Need to be Considered if an Integrated System is Implemented. If a jurisdiction is contemplating the introduction of a graduated licensing system, this might provide an opportunity for examining what is currently being offered in driver education/training and evaluating the extent to which this is consistent with and complementary to the principles of graduated licensing.

Motivating young drivers to use their safely skills. As discussed previously, it has been suggested by several authors that young drivers do indeed learn many of the necessary skills in driver education/training but, for various reasons, they choose not to apply or use these skills. From this perspective, motivating them to do so is a key to safe driving.

Herein lies a potential symbiotic link between education/training and graduated licensing.

Driver education/training might be able to provide the structure for the orderly and efficient acquisition of critical safe driving skills during the graduated licensing phase. For its part, graduated licensing might be able to provide the motivational framework for encouraging the use of the safe driving skills that are acquired because it can demand a crash- and violation-free driving record before the novice can exit from its limitations. Indeed, several jurisdictions have already introduced such incentive-based approaches. For example, in New Zealand, Ontario and Nova Scotia, learners cannot graduate to a full unrestricted license unless they maintain a crash- and/or violation-free record. In fact, in Nova Scotia, license suspensions at either the learner's or newly licensed driver stages will delay graduation into the next stage by the minimum time required of that stage. Thus, even if there are only a few days remaining to graduate to a full unrestricted license, crashes or violations that result in a license suspension mean that the second stage of the graduated license would apply for another two years.

Such an incentive-based approach, however, is weakened by allowing age to be the criterion for graduation to a full license. This is a practice in several U.S. states-e.g. Maryland-that have introduced elements of graduated licensing. in these states, 18-year-olds can obtain a full license, even if they have violations and collisions on their record. As a consequence, there may be little incentive to use knowledge and skills acquired in training to drive safely, if a full license is automatically issued on turning 18 years of age.

The motivational potential is also reduced considerably if few and/or weak restrictions are applied in the graduated licensing system. This is because it is the desire to remove these restrictions that serves as the incentive to obtain a full unrestricted license. If novices do not find the restrictions especially onerous or demanding, the motivation to achieve a full unrestricted license is undermined.

The motivational properties of the system might also be strengthened by including additional hurdles, such as more frequent and demanding tests. Novices should be motivated to acquire and practice safety skills to prepare for the test(s). Test failures should demonstrate their skill limitations and the importance of learning the skills needed to pass. To some extent, such an approach has been adopted in Ontario, where novices are required to pass an advanced skill test as an exit requirement. Although a more demanding test at this stage in the licensing process has advantages-i.e., it will likely encourage novices to take advanced training so that they have the safe driving skills to pass the test-it may be advisable to introduce the test earlier in the process. The reason is that once the novice passes the exit test and obtains a full unrestricted drivers license there may be no further incentive to actually use the knowledge and skills acquired in training. This problem could be resolved by requiring the advanced test in an earlier stage of licensing so that not all restrictions have been removed. Alternatively, once the novice has passed the advanced test and obtained a full license, they could be placed on probation for a reasonable length of time-i.e., even though they have full driving privileges, any collisions/violations would result in being placed back on the graduated license system.

Further consideration also needs to be given to alternative incentive/motivational approaches. To date, in most graduated licensing systems, the reward for violation- and crash-free driving has focused primarily on lifting the restrictions and graduating to the full license. Additional and innovative rewards that are meaningful and appealing to young drivers and their parents should be identified. For example, there are several types of monetary rewards that could be included in the system-a rebate on the cost of the driver education/training program; an insurance rebate/discount; free or reduced costs for license renewal; free or reduced costs for refresher or advanced driver education/training courses.

The success of an incentive-based approach ultimately depends on the extent to which novices appreciate the value of what can be learned in driver education/training and whether they perceive the reward-e.g., a full license-as desirable enough to warrant routinely driving safely. Indeed, driving safely and, thereby, achieving a full license needs to be valued as highly as other sought after goals such as winning an athletic competition, graduating from high school, obtaining employment, and gaining peer approval. This is a major challenge that needs to be addressed by licensing authorities and driver educators to ensure that an integrated system has the potential to work effectively.

Driver Education and Graduated licensing should be multiphased. By definition, graduated licensing is multiphased typically it involves a two- or three-stage licensing process that becomes progressively less restrictive as the novice moves towards full licensure. Each stage has specific requirements -e.g., supervision at all times during the initial learner's stage; unsupervised driving only during certain hours in the second less restrictive stage. Despite this prominent feature of graduated licensing, most systems that include driver education/training do so only as part of the learner's stage. As a consequence, driver education/training does not articulate well with the multiphased graduated licensing system. To rectify this situation, NHTSA has recommended a two-stage driver education program: a basic driver education course in the learner stage of graduated licensing and a more-advanced safety oriented course in the intermediate stage. A comparable system is being implemented in Michigan.

Such an approach was actually proposed by McKnight (1985) more than 10 years ago and received serious consideration more recently at an intentional symposium on young motorists (Simpson 1996). It is based on the premise that beginning drivers are not prepared to benefit fully from safety instruction in driver education. For some students, learning to drive and maintaining basic control of the vehicle are so demanding that safe driving concepts cannot be applied. Thus, it may be advisable to introduce more safety-oriented driver training following initial licensing and after some driving experience has been gained.

Such a multiphased approach also provides an opportunity to harmonize the delivery of specific driver education/training lessons with the graduated licensing requirements. For example, if a night curfew is in effect throughout the graduated licensing system, there might be some benefit to providing supervised in-vehicle lessons on night driving, prior to the beginner graduating to full unrestricted driving privileges. In this way, the training can supplement but not replace the protective benefits of the graduated licensing program.

Such an approach was actually proposed by McKnight (1985) more than 10 years ago and received serious consideration more recently at an intentional symposium on young motorists (Simpson 1996). It is based on the premise that beginning drivers are not prepared to benefit fully from safety instruction in driver education. For some students, learning to drive and maintaining basic control of the vehicle are so demanding that safe driving concepts cannot be applied. Thus, it may be advisable to introduce more safety-oriented driver training following initial licensing and after some driving experience has been gained.

Such a multiphased approach also provides an opportunity to harmonize the delivery of specific driver education/training lessons with the graduated licensing requirements. For example, if a night curfew is in effect throughout the graduated licensing system, there might be some benefit to providing supervised in-vehicle lessons on night driving, prior to the beginner graduating to full unrestricted driving privileges. In this way, the training can supplement but not replace the protective benefits of the graduated licensing program.

Multistaged driver education also provides an opportunity for combining formal and informal instruction. An important safety feature of graduated licensing 'M the learner phase is an extended period of supervised driving. This provision allows the learner to gain driving experience under the supervision of a licensed adult, typically a parent or a slightly older licensed peer. Although opinion is divided regarding the extent to which the supervisor is competent to teach or train the new driver, there is consensus that the presence of the older licensed driver minimizes the likelihood that the novice will engage in deliberate or unintentional risk taking behaviors. And indeed, the limited research that has been conducted suggests that supervised learners seldom crash (Williams et al., in press).

Formal driver education/training could be structured to complement this extended period of adult supervision. In this regard, a few jurisdictions -e.g., France, Belgium-have already developed education/training approaches in which both lay persons and professionals participate in the training of novices. Moreover, efforts have been made to provide supervisors with support materials that will facilitate their serving in this role-e.g., NHTSA is developing a parent training module.

Should a "time discount" be offered for driver education/training? Several jurisdictions -e.g., Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Zealand-allow the restricted driving periods to be shortened if driver education courses are completed. This practice deserves careful consideration because it assumes that driver education/training provides safety benefits at least equivalent to those arising from the driving experience gained under conditions of low risk (i.e., under the restrictions imposed by the system). This premise is, however, not readily supported by the empirical evidence. Moreover, safety disbenefits could result from this practice because it allows earlier access to full, unrestricted driving privileges.

The licensing changes recently introduced in New Brunswick overcome this limitation to some extent. Although a "time discount" is permitted in Stage One of the graduated licensing program upon successful completion of driver education, this time is added to Stage 2, so that the full graduated licensing period remains unchanged. Unfortunately, the problem with this approach is that all of the protective driving restrictions (e.g., adult supervision) occur in Stage 1; there are none in Stage 2, which is only a probationary period that imposes licensing actions for fewer demerit points. Allowing completion of driver education/training to shorten Stage I but lengthen Stage 2 could have a detrimental safety impact because the novice is exposed sooner to the full range of hazardous driving conditions.

In summary, if driver education/training is embedded in a graduated licensing system, we do not recommend that the length of time in the system be reduced for successful completion of the course of instruction.

Changes to the content and delivery of driver education/training. In a previous section of this report some potential areas for improving driver education/training were outlined. Such changes should be considered if driver education/training is to be integrated with a graduated licensing system. Consideration should be given to the following:

Although the benefits of these potential improvements have not been established, they may offer some promise and can only be evaluated if implemented. Designing a program that effectively addresses the critical age-related factors, however, will not be easy given our lack of understanding of the process of adolescent development and considering the limited success that has been achieved in modifying other health risk behaviors.

Evaluation is critical. Until these potential improvements have been tested and shown to add to the safety benefits of graduated licensing-i.e., reducing the crash involvement of young drivers-wide-scale implementation should be discouraged. The move toward graduated licensing may provide the mechanism and rationale for examining not only what is taught in driver education/training but how it is taught.

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If information were soccer, this would be a gooooaol!


Hi guys, drug interventions for drug addiction and alcohol abuse to help individuals with behavior problems relating to drugs, alcoholism, and prescription pills.
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Depends on where you are, but in my area all you need is a licensed driver to accompany you who has a minimum of experience. This varies from state to state.


The new graduated lisense is not cool because in my case i graduate when i am seventeen what is my parents coming with me to college

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