Learning With a Supervisor Who has Traffic Offences and Young Driver Crashes: The DRIVE Study 13-Year Follow-Up

Publication Name

Journal of Adolescent Health


Purpose: Young learner drivers commonly must record substantial supervised practice driving before independent licensure. Supervisory driver requirements can be limited or highly regulated, yet research is lacking on the effectiveness of different approaches. The current objective was to explore whether young drivers who were mostly supervised by someone who they perceived had traffic offences versus no offences had different crash records over a period of 13 years postlicensing. Methods: DRIVE is an Australian prospective cohort study of more than 20,000 drivers who were aged 17–24 years and newly licensed during 2003–2004. They completed detailed baseline questionnaires, including whether the person they identified as supervising their learner driving the most had perceived traffic offences in the past 12 months. Responses were linked to their state crash, hospitalization, and death records to 2016. A parametric survival model was created to calculate hazard ratios of time to crash for those reporting that their supervisor had 0 versus 1 and 0 versus 2+ perceived offences, adjusting for the participants' prior crash history and other covariates. Results: After adjusting for covariates, 369 participants reporting supervisory drivers with 2+ perceived offences, compared to 15,451 participants reporting no such offences, had up to 1.67 (95% confidence interval 1.10–2.53 at 6 months) times the rate of any crash for the first 2.5 years and up to 2.01 (95% confidence interval 1.26–3.19 at 3.5 years) times the rate of crashes resulting in injury for 5.5 years. Discussion: Although overall supervision by a driver with two or more perceived offences was low, further attention is needed to ensure improved supervised driving experiences, with mentoring programs and professional instructor partnerships worthy of exploration.

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National Health and Medical Research Council



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