The role of parents and non-parents in the supervision of learner drivers in Australia.

Research paper by Lyndel L Bates, Barry B Watson, Mark J MJ King

Indexed on: 02 Apr '14Published on: 02 Apr '14Published in: Accident Analysis & Prevention


The purpose of this study was to contrast the role of parental and non-parental (sibling, other family and non-family) supervisors in the supervision of learner drivers in graduated driver licensing systems. The sample consisted of 522 supervisors from the Australian states of Queensland (n=204, 39%) and New South Wales (n=318, 61%). The learner licence requirements in these two states are similar, although learners in Queensland are required to accrue 100h of supervision in a log book while those in New South Wales are required to accrue 120h. Approximately 50 per cent of the sample (n=255) were parents of the learner driver while the remainder of the sample were either siblings (n=72, 13.8%), other family members (n=153, 29.3%) or non-family (n=114, 21.8%). Parents were more likely than siblings, other family or non-family members to be the primary supervisor of the learner driver. Siblings provided fewer hours of practice when compared with other supervisor types while the median and mode suggest that parents provided the most hours of practice to learner drivers. This study demonstrates that non-parental supervisors, such as siblings, other family members and non-family, at least in jurisdictions that require 100 or 120h of practice, are important in facilitating learner drivers to accumulate sufficient supervised driving practice.