Background Young drivers are at increased crash risk as a result of adopting risky driving styles. The present work examines the development of risky attitudes from pre-driving to fully-qualified driving, focussing on speed related attitudes.
Methods Data were drawn from a UK longitudinal study of adolescent behaviour development in the general population (the G1219 study). At baseline (modal age 17 years) there were 1596 participants, only 18% of whom were fully-qualified drivers. At follow-up (modal age 20 years) 64% were fully-qualified drivers. Attitudes to driving violations, particularly speeding, were measured in all participants at both assessments. Self-reported driving violations, also related to speeding, were measured in fully-qualified drivers at follow-up.
Results Attitudes became riskier with driver training/experience. Baseline attitudes measured in pre-drivers did not independently predict violations in those that had become fully-qualified drivers at follow-up. The attitudes of learner and fully-qualified drivers at baseline independently predicted violations at follow-up.
Conclusions These results indicate that the driver training period offers a promising opportunity for interventions to develop safer driving attitudes.
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