Risky driving among young Australian drivers: Trends, precursors and correlates

Young drivers are significantly over-represented among those injured or killed in road traffic accidents. Young adults' greater tendency to engage in risky driving behaviors has been implicated in their high crash involvement rate. While considerable research has examined the driving patterns of young adults and situational factors associated with their involvement in crashes, less is known about the characteristics or circumstances in young drivers' earlier lives that may have contributed to their current driving behavior. This issue was explored using data from the Australian Temperament Project, a large longitudinal community-based study, which commenced in 1983 with 2443 families and has followed children's psychosocial development from infancy to early adulthood. During the most recent survey wave when participants were aged 19-20 years, information was collected from young adults about their driving experiences and behavior. A series of analyses indicated that it was possible to distinguish a group of young adults who engaged in high risky driving behavior (high group) from a group who engaged in low levels of risky driving behavior (low group) from mid childhood. Young drivers with a tendency towards risky driving differed from others on aspects of temperament style, behavior problems, social competence, school adjustment and interpersonal relationships. The implications of these findings for initiatives to reduce risky driving behavior are discussed.


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  • Accession Number: 01051306
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 6 2007 12:47PM