Parent involvement in novice teen driving: A review of the literature

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD, USA.
Injury Prevention (Impact Factor: 1.89). 07/2006; 12 Suppl 1(suppl_1):i30-7. DOI: 10.1136/ip.2006.011569
Source: PubMed


Motor vehicle crashes remain elevated among novice teen drivers for at least several years after licensure. Licensing policies and driver education are the two primary countermeasures employed to decrease young driver crash risks. Graduated driver licensing policies have proved to be effective in reducing crash rates where evaluated. Driver education is an essential part of teaching teens the rules of the road and operating a vehicle, but requires few hours of professional driver training, relying mainly on parents to provide most of the supervised practice driving teens obtain before independent driving licensure. The few studies that have been conducted to increase parent supervised practice driving have not shown positive results. Moreover, it is unclear that increases in practice would improve independent driving safety. Recent research has shown that parent management of the early independent driving experience of novice teens improves safety outcomes, and other research has shown that it is possible to increase parent management practices. This paper provides a review of the literature on parent involvement in supervised practice and independent driving, and efforts to increase parental management.

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Available from: Bruce Simons-Morton, Sep 15, 2014
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    • "Despite the learning opportunity that practice driving provides, teens demonstrate a wide range of driving skill deficits during the first several months of independent driving. For example, newly licensed teens often demonstrate problems with: recognizing hazards in the driving environment (Borowsky et al., 2009; Pradhan et al., 2005); managing speed properly (Braitman et al., 2008; Fisher et al., 2002; Zhang et al., 1998); maintaining attention (Chan et al., 2010; Greenberg et al., 2003); navigating intersections , particularly making left turns with on-coming traffic (Clarke et al., 2005; Kirk and Stamatiadis, 2001; Lee, 2007; Lee et al., 2011; Lerner et al., 1999; McDonald et al., 2012; Simons-Morton and Ouimet, 2006); and maintaining lane positioning (McKnight and McKnight, 2003; Ulmer et al., 1997; Yang et al., 2006). The limited research available suggests that teens may sufficiently develop basic vehicle operations skills such as making turns, backing the vehicle and making stops to pass a state licensing exam, but do not develop higher order tactical skills (i.e., managing traffic situations , including interacting safely with other road users) until amassing a sufficient experience driving in a wide range of challenging situations (Groeger, 2000, 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Despite demonstrating basic vehicle operations skills sufficient to pass a state licensing test, novice teen drivers demonstrate several deficits in tactical driving skills during the first several months of independent driving. Improving our knowledge of the types of errors made by teen permit holders early in the learning process would assist in the development of novel approaches to driver training and resources for parent supervision. Methods: The purpose of the current analysis was to describe driving performance errors made by teens during the permit period, and to determine if there were differences in the frequency and type of errors made by teens: (1) in comparison to licensed, safe, and experienced adult drivers; (2) by teen and parent-supervisor characteristics; and (3) by teen-reported quantity of practice driving. Data for this analysis were combined from two studies: (1) the control group of teens in a randomized clinical trial evaluating an intervention to improve parent-supervised practice driving (n=89 parent-teen dyads) and (2) a sample of 37 adult drivers (mean age 44.2 years), recruited and screened as an experienced and competent reference standard in a validation study of an on-road driving assessment for teens (tODA). Three measures of performance: drive termination (i.e., the assessment was discontinued for safety reasons), safety-relevant critical errors, and vehicle operation errors were evaluated at the approximate mid-point (12 weeks) and end (24 weeks) of the learner phase. Differences in driver performance were compared using the Wilcoxon rank sum test for continuous variables and Pearson's Chi-square test for categorical variables. Results: 10.4% of teens had their early assessment terminated for safety reasons and 15.4% had their late assessment terminated, compared to no adults. These teens reported substantially fewer behind the wheel practice hours compared with teens that did not have their assessments terminated: tODAearly (9.0 vs. 20.0, p<0.001) and tODAlate (19.0 vs. 58.3, p<0.001). With respect to critical driving errors, 55% of teens committed a total of 85 critical errors (range of 1-5 errors per driver) on the early tODA; by comparison, only one adult committed a critical error (p<0.001). On the late tODA, 54% of teens committed 67 critical errors (range of 1-8 errors per driver) compared with only one adult (p<0.001). No differences in teen or parent gender, parent/teen relationship type or parent prior experience teaching a teen to drive were observed between teens who committed a critical error on either route and teens that committed no critical errors. A borderline association between median teen-reported practice quantity and critical error commission was observed for the late tODA. The overall median proportion of vehicle operation errors for teens was higher than that of adults on both assessments, though median error proportions were less than 10% for both teens and adults. Conclusion: In comparison to a group of experienced adult drivers, a substantially higher proportion of learner teens committed safety-relevant critical driving errors at both time points of assessment. These findings, as well as the associations between practice quantity and the driving performance outcomes studied suggest that further research is needed to better understand how teens might effectively learn skills necessary for safe independent driving while they are still under supervised conditions.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Accident Analysis & Prevention
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    • "Moreover, hours or distance alone may not be a good indicator of gained competency because higher hours can be indicative of either a teen who is struggling or a competent teen enjoying practice. This approach, the unitary focus on quantity, has not provided strong support for the potential of supervised practice driving as a means by which to increase driver safety [3] [5] [22] [23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The large contribution of inexperience to the high crash rate of newly licensed teens suggests that they enter licensure with insufficient skills. In a prior analysis, we found moderate support for a direct effect of a web-based intervention, the TeenDrivingPlan (TDP), on teens' driving performance. The purpose of the present study was to identify the mechanisms by which TDP may be effective and to extend our understanding of how teens learn to drive. Methods: A randomized controlled trial conducted with teen permit holders and parent supervisors (N = 151 dyads) was used to determine if the effect of TDP on driver performance operated through five hypothesized mediators: (1) parent-perceived social support; (2) teen-perceived social support; (3) parent engagement; (4) practice quantity; and (5) practice diversity. Certified driving evaluators, blinded to teens' treatment allocation, assessed teens' driving performance 24 weeks after enrollment. Mediator variables were assessed on self-report surveys administered periodically over the study period. Results: Exposure to TDP increased teen-perceived social support, parent engagement, and practice diversity. Both greater practice quantity and diversity were associated with better driving performance, but only practice diversity mediated the relationship between TDP and driver performance. Conclusions: Practice diversity is feasible to change and increases teens' likelihood of completing a rigorous on-road driving assessment just before licensure. Future research should continue to identify mechanisms that diversify practice driving, explore complementary ways to help families optimize the time they spend on practice driving, and evaluate the long-term effectiveness of TDP.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Adolescent Health
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    • "Further, while parents appear to be aware of the risks associated with new drivers, they are also keen to encourage independence in their children and reduce the need to transport them to various events [39]. A small number of interventions have investigated the impact of parental supervision, resulting in somewhat mixed overall findings [40,41]. Further exploration of interventions involving parental supervision would therefore be desirable, but at present they do not appear to be an adequate substitute for GDL. "
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    ABSTRACT: Deaths and injuries on the road remain a major cause of premature death among young people across the world. Routinely collected data usually focuses on the mechanism of road traffic collisions and basic demographic data of those involved. This study aimed to supplement these routine sources with a thematic analysis of narrative text contained in coroners' records, to explore the wider social context in which collisions occur. Thematic analysis of narrative text from Coroners' records, retrieved from thirty-four fatalities among young people (16-24 year olds) occurring as a result of thirty road traffic collisions in a rural county in the south of England over the period 2005-2010. Six key themes emerged: social driving, driving experience, interest in motor vehicles, driving behaviour, perception of driving ability, and emotional distress. Social driving (defined as a group of related behaviours including: driving as a social event in itself (i.e. without a pre-specified destination); driving to or from a social event; driving with accompanying passengers; driving late at night; driving where alcohol or drugs were a feature of the journey) was identified as a common feature across cases. Analysis of the wider social context in which road traffic collisions occur in young people can provide important information for understanding why collisions happen and developing targeted interventions to prevent them. It can complement routinely collected data, which often focuses on events immediately preceding a collision. Qualitative analysis of narrative text in coroner's records may provide a way of providing this type of information. These findings provide additional support for the case for Graduated Driver Licensing programmes to reduce collisions involving young people, and also suggest that road safety interventions need to take a more community development approach, recognising the importance of social context and focusing on social networks of young people.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · BMC Public Health
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