Vehicles driven by young drivers, and features important to parents: New Zealand Drivers Study

This paper aims to describe the vehicles driven by young learner drivers and identify features parents considered important. This study was part of the New Zealand Drivers Study (NZDS), an ongoing prospective cohort study of 3992 newly licensed car drivers. As part of this study, 1200 parents (of drivers aged 15-17 years when licensed) reported on the main vehicle driven by their child during the learner licence stage, their child’s access to the vehicle, and factors that influenced their decisions regarding vehicle choice. Half of young drivers drove light or small model cars. The majority (64 per cent) were at least 10 years old. In most cases (76 per cent) the vehicles were already owned by the parents, with small vehicle and engine size the most important features for selecting the vehicle. Vehicle safety features were considered important by 19 per cent of parents. One quarter of parents considered their child to be the vehicle owner. These vehicles were more likely to be light or small (74 per cent), older model cars (87 per cent 10 years or older) with less insurance cover (49 per cent full insurance), compared to vehicles which were not considered the child’s. Most young drivers were driving vehicles which provide poor crash protection and adolescent vehicle owners were driving the least safe vehicles. Ensuring adolescents drive safer vehicles and limiting access are ways parents can reduce adolescent injury and crash risk. Opportunities exist to better inform parents on what factors are important to consider when making decisions about the vehicle their child will drive, especially if they are purchasing a vehicle.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 10p
  • Monograph Title: Driving research, policy and action towards zero deaths and injuries: Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference, 2011, Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, Perth, Western Australia, 6-9 November

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01362515
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 16 2012 7:24AM