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The safety value of driver education an training
  1. D R Mayhew1,
  2. H M Simpson1
  1. 1Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr D R Mayhew, Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), Suite 200, 171 Nepean Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2P OB4;


Background: New drivers, especially young ones, have extremely high crash rates. Formal instruction, which includes in-class education and in-vehicle training, has been used as a means to address this problem.

Objectives: To summarize the evidence on the safety value of such programs and suggest improvements in program delivery and content that may produce safety benefits.

Methods: The empirical evidence was reviewed and summarized to determine if formal instruction has been shown to produce reductions in collisions, and to identify ways it might achieve this objective.

Results: The international literature provides little support for the hypothesis that formal driver instruction is an effective safety measure. It is argued that such an outcome is not entirely unexpected given that traditional programs fail to address adequately the age and experience related factors that render young drivers at increased risk of collision.

Conclusions: Education/training programs might prove to be effective in reducing collisions if they are more empirically based, addressing critical age and experience related factors. At the same time, more research into the behaviors and crash experiences of novice drivers is needed to refine our understanding of the problem.

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    Title should read: The safety value of driver education and training


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