The purpose of the present study was to evaluate a pilot program designed to teach communication skills to young drivers and passengers. Sixty-two young males recruited as 31 pairs of friends, all aged between 18 and 21 years and holding a probationary drivers licence, were randomly assigned to a training or no-training condition. A training program was developed based upon elements of existing team training programs. Driver and passenger pairs operated a driving simulator through scenarios designed to measure aspects of safe driving behaviour and hazard response. Communications between driver and passenger were also measured. All participants were administered the Driver Behaviour Questionnaire before and approximately 2 months after simulator testing. Compared to the untrained group the trained participants exhibited a larger following distance, reduced speed significantly when faced with an unexpected hazard on the road, and exhibited more safe communications. Although current passenger restrictions are warranted, the present results reveal an alternative view of adolescent passengers: rather than being a negative influence on drivers, adolescent passengers can potentially be trained to become a positive influence.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|