Self-assessed driver competence among novice drivers - a comparison of driving test candidate assessments and examiner assessments in a Dutch and Finnish sample

This study examined novice drivers' overconfidence by comparing their self-assessed driver competence with the assessments made by driving examiners. A Finnish (n = 2,739) and a Dutch sample (n = 239) of drivers license candidates assessed their driver competence in six areas and took the driving test. In contrast to previous studies where drivers have assessed their skill in comparison to the average driver, a smaller proportion overestimated and a larger proportion made realistic self-assessments of their driver competence in the present study, where self-assessments were compared with examiner assessments. Between 40% and 50% of the candidates in both samples made realistic assessments and 30% to 40% overestimated their competence. The proportion of overestimation was greater in the Dutch than in the Finnish sample, which might be explained by greater possibilities for practicing self-assessment in the Finnish driver education system. Similar to other self-assessment studies that indicate that incompetence is related to overestimation, a larger proportion of candidates that failed the test overestimated their skill compared to those who passed. In contrast to other studies, males did not overestimate their skills more than females, and younger driver candidates were not more overconfident than older drivers. Although a great proportion of the candidates made a realistic assessment of their own driver competence, overestimation is still a problem that needs to be dealt with. To improve the accuracy of novice drivers' self-assessment, methods for self-assessment training should be developed and implemented in the driver licensing process.


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  • Accession Number: 01144696
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 26 2009 9:06AM