Young novice drivers and the risky behaviours of parents and friends during the provisional (intermediate) licence phase: a brief report.

Research paper by Bridie B Scott-Parker, Barry B Watson, Mark J MJ King, Melissa K MK Hyde

Indexed on: 11 Jan '14Published on: 11 Jan '14Published in: Accident Analysis & Prevention


While there is research indicating that many factors influence the young novice driver's increased risk of road crash injury during the earliest stages of their independent driving, there is a need to further understand the relationship between the perceived risky driving behaviour of parents and friends and the risky behaviour of drivers with a Provisional (intermediate) licence.As part of a larger research project, 378 drivers aged 17-25 years (M=18.22, SD=1.59, 113 males) with a Provisional licence completed an online survey exploring the perceived riskiness of their parents' and friends' driving, and the extent to which they pattern (i.e. base) their driving behaviour on the driving of their parents and friends.Young drivers who reported patterning their driving on their friends, and who reported they perceived their friends to be risky drivers, reported more risky driving. The risky driving behaviour of young male drivers was associated with the perceived riskiness of their fathers' driving, whilst for female drivers the perceived riskiness of their mothers' driving approached significance.The development and application of countermeasures targeting the risky behaviour of same-sex parents appears warranted by the robust research findings. In addition, countermeasures need to encourage young people in general to be non-risky drivers; targeting the negative influence of risky peer groups specifically. Social norms interventions may minimise the influence of potentially-overestimated riskiness.