Exploring the Dimensions of Driving Instruction through Naturalistic Observation of Formal Practical Lessons with Learner Drivers

Higher-order driving skills (HO-DS) are deficient in young drivers who are over-represented in road crash fatalities and serious injuries. Teaching HO-DS has strong theoretical support in reducing crash risk. This study contributes to the dearth of literature regarding on-road driver training that can develop these skills. Higher-order driving instruction (HO-DI) is explored in formal on-road driving lessons (in Queensland, Australia) via naturalistic observation. Fifteen instructors and 96 learner drivers aged 16–19?years were recruited, with 110 lessons observed. An HO-DI coding taxonomy informed by the Goals for Driver Education (24) was used for content analysis using an a priori approach, comprising eight HO-DI codes: driving plan (formerly driving route), vehicle control and maneuvering, mastery of traffic situations, surveillance, situational risk (formerly environmental variables), personal risk (formerly knowledge of risk), car function (formerly car knowledge), and distraction. Thirty-nine sub-themes were identified within the codes allowing a deeper understanding of instruction, including missed (unseen) and untaken (seen but not actioned) HO-DI opportunities. The findings inform recommendations for the development of best practice HO-DI. This study has implications for the driver training industry with potential for reducing the crash risk of young novice drivers.


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  • Accession Number: 01732644
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 3 2020 1:47PM