Evaluating the effectiveness of a post-license education program for young novice drivers in Belgium

K. Brijs, A. Cuenen, T. Brijs, R.A.C. Ruiter, G. Wets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The disproportionately large number of traffic accidents of young novice drivers highlights the need for an effective driver education program. The Goals for Driving Education (GDE) matrix shows that driver education must target both lower and higher levels of driver competences. Research has indicated that current education programs do not emphasize enough the higher levels, for example awareness and insight. This has raised the importance of insight programs. On the Road (OtR), a Flemish post-license driver education program, is such an insight program that aims to target these higher levels. The program focus is on risky driving behavior like speeding and drink driving. In addition, the program addresses risk detection and risk-related knowledge. The goal of the study was to do an effect evaluation of this insight program at immediate post-test and 2 months follow-up. In addition, the study aimed to generalize the results of this program to comparable programs in order to make usable policy recommendations. A questionnaire based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) was used in order to measure participants' safety consciousness of speeding and drink driving. Moreover, we focused on risk detection and risk-related knowledge. Participants (N=366) were randomly assigned to a baseline-follow-up group or a post-test-follow-up group. Regarding speeding and driving, we found OtR to have little effect on the TPB variables. Regarding risk detection, we found no significant effect, even though participants clearly needed substantial improvement when stepping into the program. Regarding risk-related knowledge, the program did result in a significant improvement at post-test and follow-up. It is concluded that the current program format is a good starting point, but that it requires further attention to enhance high level driving skills. Program developers are encouraged to work in a more evidence-based manner when they select target variables and methods to influence these variables.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-71
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Volume66
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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