Predicting young driver behaviour from pre-driver attitudes, intentions and road behaviour
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Drivers under 25 years are over-represented in global road accident statistics. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) has been used to identify individuals who are likely to engage in behaviours, such as speeding, which are associated with increased accident involvement. In an attempt to investigate adolescents‟ attitudes and behaviours from pre- to post-driver training, the studies presented incorporate past behaviour into the TPB. Three questionnaire-based studies were conducted in Scotland and New Zealand. The first study explored adolescent pre-drivers‟ road behaviour, driving attitudes and speeding intentions. Adolescents‟ with the greatest speeding intentions frequently engaged in high-risk road behaviour and had more accepting attitudes towards driving violations. The second study explored the development of attitudes and intentions from pre- to post-driver training. Drivers who frequently violated reported more accepting attitudes towards violations and engagement in frequent high-risk road behaviours as pre-drivers. The third study assessed the stability of pre-drivers‟ driving attitudes and speeding intentions. Adolescents‟ attitudes and intentions fluctuated significantly; however, males reported riskier driving attitudes and greater speeding intentions. This research suggests that the role of road safety education and pre-driver interventions on future driving behaviour has been under-estimated. Interventions that simultaneously reinforce safe road practices and motivate the reduction of dangerous practices will influence the future of adolescents as safe drivers.