Young Driver Focus 2019 – live feed

04.56 | 1 May 2019 | |

Soundbites and images from the 2019 edition of Young Driver Focus, which took place at the RAC Club, London, on 1 May.


Entries are listed in reverse order, with the day’s first speakers at the foot on the report.

15.30 – Damien Cross, Head of Audience Engagement, To The End

Damien and his team are responsible for identifying and engaging with hard-to-reach niche audiences for companies and brands which may not necessarily have the most compelling product or service to offer.

With a motoring and motorsport background, Damien has many engaged audiences on social media, and with experience in running dozens of professional and personal social media accounts, he understands what makes different audiences pay attention – especially in the automotive sector.

Presentation: How to engage an ever-more sceptical, media-savvy and advert-aware audience – young people

Consuming entertaining content at home:

  • TV has gone from limited channels to being able to watch whatever you want, whenever you want

So much competition – road safety work needs to be entertaining.

Consuming via internet and social media:

  • Celebrity endorsement
  • Influencers

Instagram stories – the power of ephemeral (death of Snapchat)

What’s next?

  • Tiktok
  • Twitch
  • Vero
  • WhatsApp

Content needs to be savvy – young people are very aware of advertising, product placements, etc. Don’t try to be sneaky. Be real.

Facebook – more than 44 million users in the UK – but predominantly older people now. (1.8m accounts between 13-17 yrs)

Is Facebook still relevant? – “Facebook is for dead people” (one young person’s view)

  • Mobile first – ‘always connected’ – Globally, 2.1B active users monthly – 1.6B mobile
  • Video: 135% greater organic reach than photo. 186% higher interaction rate for native (Facebook)
  • Facebook is generating over 3,000 years worth of watch time each day

Don’t just tell (words), show (pics) and explain (videos).

15.15 – Adrianne Carter, The Face Whisperer

Adrianne Carter is an expert in the Facial Action Coding System (FACS), a lecturer in consumer psychology and business owner.

Presentation title: Unlocking the face to unlock communication

What are people feeling?

  • Words – 7% of communication when talking about feelings and emotion
  • Tone of voice – 38% of communication, this number goes up if not face to face
  • Facial expressions – 55% is body language and the face when communicating about feelings and emotions

Facial Action Coding System (FACS)

  • There are 43 separate muscles in the face – FACS attempts to codify the movement of these muscles into different emotions.
  • A human can make over 10,000 facial expressions to express a wide variety of subtle emotions
  • 3,000 facial expressions directly linked to emotions
  • Emotional responses are 24 times faster than cognitive thoughts so the first response is always an emotional display


  • Seven universal emotions
  • A superpower
  • Ask questions
  • Unlock the face to unlock communication

15.00 – Frank Norbury and Evan Webster, Policy and Research Officers, PACTS

Frank Norbury and Evan Webster have MScs in Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Development from UCL and Environment and Development from LSE, respectively.

They joined the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) as Policy and Research Officers in 2018. They have been responsible for researching the PACTS’ project on seat belts and writing the report.

Presentation: Seat Belts: The Forgotten Road Safety Issue?

The first legal requirement to wear a seat belt in the front seats came into effect in the UK in 1983.

By 1991, seat belt wearing was a legal requirement in all seating positions and overall wearing rates were higher than 90%.

Amongst the road safety community there was a feeling this constituted a ‘job well done’.

But is it…

In 2017, 27% of those who died in cars were not wearing a seat belt (in cases where seat belt status was known).

Who isn’t wearing seat belts?


  • Non-wearing more prevalent amongst men

Age and gender:

  • More prevalent amongst males aged 16-35
  • More prevalent amongst females aged 16-25

Time of day:

  • More prevalent particularly at night, and overall between 19:00 and 7:00.

Age and time of day:

  • More prevalent amongst 16-25 year olds travelling at night (particularly between 19:00-23:00 and 03:00-07:00)

Other findings:

Speed limit – while more people died unbelted on 60mph roads, by proportion 39.1% of those that died on 30mph were not wearing a seat belt, compared to 18.9% of those travelling on 60mph roads.

Deprivation – unbelted KSI’s were highest amongst those whose home postcodes were registered to be in the most deprived ten percent of areas.

Why are people not wearing seat belts?

  • Discomfort
  • Lack of habit or forgetting
  • Feeling safe without a seat belt
  • Perceived lack of enforcement
  • Rebellion
  • Peer pressure
  • Sensation seeking
  • Discomfort

What can be done?

Important to know that even a small change in wearing rates could make massive improvements

Even with wearing rates for drivers being above 95%, it still means a distance greater than 30,000 round trips to the moon is being travelled unbelted in Great Britain each year.



  • Add penalty points (strong evidence to support this)
  • Increased fines (less evidence

Good disincentive and evidence of effectiveness – but requires enforcement to be effective and may be publicly unpopular.


  • Increased enforcement
  • Improved use of technology (cameras)

Strong signal to public to wear seat belt & improved technology may reduce costs to police

But requires police time and investment and may be ineffective without increased penalty


  • National Campaigns
  • Remedial Training
  • Local Authority Education

Can create public support for enforcement – and evidence of effectiveness in combination with other interventions. More intelligent campaigns (not blood & gore).


  • Seat belt reminder systems
  • Interlocks and Passive Interlocks

Strong evidence of effectiveness of SBRs in increasing wearing rates – but does not require on-going public sector investment and can be countered by ‘cheat devices’


  • Strong steps should be taken to increase seat belt wearing. This should take the form of a cohesive campaign which combines amplified, better designed education (existing activities reviewed); stronger, disincentivizing penalties; increased, targeted enforcement and effective technological interventions.

14.50 – Lucy Tatchell, Head of News and Media, Fixers

In her role at Fixers, Lucy Tatchell has been central to a year-long programme of work with the Road Safety Trust, enabling young people to create campaigns varying from beer mats to air fresheners and hard-hitting videos.

Presentation: Young People Driving Change

About turning negative driving experiences into a positive

Fixers a national charity championing the potential of young people – empowering them to transform their lives through positive social action

Commissioned by Road Safety Trust to work with 16-25 year olds across the UK who had negative driving experiences – engaged with 46 young people who in turn delivered 12 personal campaigns.

Each individual wanted to use their past, to fix the future.

Each campaign included the creation of a resource ranging from short films and poster campaigns, to air fresheners and beer mats. Many used innovative ideas and hashtags.

Each project was launched in their communities via traditional and social media campaigns all designed to reach hundreds of their peers.

Powerful testimonies from individual experiences have contributed towards behaviour change.


  • “This is amazing, bravo to the young people who created this, it’s great they have created something that helps in such a tragic time.”
  • “The beer mats are brilliant! I think it gets the message across really well – it’s straight to the point, blunt and most importantly will get people talking.”
  • “I get in the car with people and now feel more confident to make sure they are ok to drive.”

All campaigns and resources stored on microsite:

All are free to use/download.

14.30 – Dr Simon Jones, Lead Data Scientist, ingenie

Dr Simon Jones has worked in the telematic motor insurance space for two years and has been a scientist for more than decade.

Vision Zero: Plan to make progress on rural roads

Insurance is fundamentally profitable when people don’t have to make a claim.

Young drivers don’t want to crash, our profits depend on identifying those most at risk and helping them drive safely.

At the heart of what we do is to separate the high risk and low risk young drivers with accurate sensor data and predictive algorithms.

Rural roads – where young drivers die

  • Young drivers account for 5% of driven miles in the UK: but 20% of road fatalities involve at least one young driver
  • Rural roads carry 40-45% of traffic – but more than 80% of young driver road fatalities

Vision Zero points in the right direction – focus on the big opportunities (young drivers and rural roads)

Changing behaviour to change risk profile:

  • Education isn’t easy – but behavioural and cultural change is possible
  • Environment anchors behaviour (especially in the absence of experience)
  • Speed limits often mistaken for speed targets

Motorways don’t feel safe – so novice drivers and commuters are purposely using rural roads to avoid congestion, speed limits and motorways increasing their exposure to risk

Customer survey results:

  • Motorways feel less safe – more young drivers report feeling unsafe on motorways than rural A/B roads
  • Bad advice abounds – more young drivers report being warned off motorways than rural A/B roads
  • Motorways preferred slightly – they should be the overwhelming favourite, but it is basically a toss up
  • Motorways not known – only a minority (hopefully growing) took any lessons on the motorway network
  • National speed limit considered safe by some – an all too large minority believe driving at this maximum speed limit is always safe

What should we do?

  • Experiments: Any intervention should be tracked to see if it actually had a positive impact
  • Identify at-risk young drivers: Try to curb their specific high risk behaviours
  • Socio-economic solutions: Mitigate the factors that encourage high risk behaviour
  • Behavioural and cultural education: Address the normalisation of high risk behaviours
  • Environmental engineering: Find ways to create a safer system than we have at present

Approaches suggested before:

  • Graduated licence scheme: Well established efficacy, but requiring changes in primary legislation
  • Rural driving tests: Impractical if requiring relocation of test centres and perhaps of low value if high risk behaviour develops after licensure
  • Alcolocks: Would curb drunk driving but likely to encounter strong resistance
  • Telematics: We are on it
  • Transport alternatives: Promote, support and encourage

Ideas we’d like to see tried:

  • Myth reduction: Motorways are safe and comfortable, rural roads look quiet but are full of hidden hazards, speed limits are known to be inappropriately high
  • Late driving as a last resort – ‘crash at the party, not on the way back’
  • Pre-emptive speed limit changes: Can we find a low cost approach to making a safer environment?

14.15 – Sergeant Olly Tayler QPM, Devon & Cornwall Police

Olly joined roads policing approximately 10 years ago and during that time has attended and investigated countless fatal road traffic collisions.

Prior to promotion to sergeant, Olly worked as a schools’ officer, delivering personal, health and social education across a range of subjects including road safety related matters.

Presentation: The Honest Truth

Working with approved driving instructors, local authorities, the military and business to reduce the number of 17 to 24yr olds killed or seriously injured on our roads.

Animal hybrid graphics – consistent road safety messages. Designed in 2012 – was still in use.

Refreshed looking being launched at YDF – brought up to date for 2019 and beyond (new website as well).

Encouraging participation and ongoing engagement for long term evaluation opportunities – truth card gives them a chance to win prizes. Incentivisation.

Empowering new and young drivers
‘My car, my rules’ – getting passengers to abide by rules and giving power back to the young driver.

Currently two lorries branded with another four on the way – a flexible and adaptable way to deliver road safety as education or as a communications campaign. Viewed by thousands of road users a day.

Targeted and effective education – designed to reduce collisions.

14.05 – Rhiannon Leeds, Co-ordinator, Lancashire Road Safety Partnership

Rhiannon Leeds has worked in road safety for 15 years and is currently the coordinator for the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership. Her multi-agency role covers a wide range of intervention, initiative and project management

Presentation: Arrive Alive – don’t text and drive

The Arrive Alive concept was created by Edge Hill University students and delivered by the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership alongside Wasted Lives UK.

The approach:

  • Partnerships
  • Brief and boundaries
  • Dragon’s Den – students pitched ideas
  • Test it!
  • No expense spared

The creative (of the winning entry):

  • The black & white image adds a sense of mystery and a contrast to the yellow text; it’s meant to be a vision of the potential future
  • The strapline was devised from internet memes, normally used as humour, creating dissonance
  • The cracks on the main tagline were chosen to symbolise cracking glass

Turned into actual campaign; banners printed, social media artwork, air fresheners.

Comments from students
Young people more interested in the implied message – not blood and gore.

The results:

  • Organic vs paid impressions
  • Anecdotal feedback
  • Ongoing evaluation
  • Message framing

Making the most of it:

  • Use what you have access to
  • Branding is key
  • Nudge theory
  • Planning and timescales
  • Evaluate!

13.55 – Duncan Dollimore, Head of Campaigns, Cycling UK

Duncan leads Cycling UK’s road safety campaigning, a key aspect of which in the last two years has been educational awareness campaigning to promote behaviour change.

Presentation: Too Close For Comfort

What’s the problem with a close pass?

  • Close passes account for 1/3 of all threatening incidents between drivers and cyclists
  • Less confident cyclists and people new to cyclists are disproportionately affected, and put off cycling
  • Can be close enough to cause a collision

Do these operations work?

  • Over four trial days ahead of the scheme’s launch, 80 people were pulled over for close passes
  • West Midlands Police pulled over eight offenders within an hour
  • 50% reduction in reported close pass offences in the first three months
  • One year on, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in the West Midlands had fallen by 20%

Why did these operations work?

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I may learn” – Benjamin Franklin

Creation of a virtual reality film – helps with engagement among younger cohort.

It’s all about changing perspectives:

  • What if you could get people to exchange places and see it from a cyclist’s perspective?
  • Involving them in an immersive experience
  • Showing not telling
  • Helping them understand
  • Nudging behaviour change

What next?

  • Driving schools
  • Learn to drive materials
  • Driver re-training courses
  • Road safety partnerships
  • 6th forms and colleges

13.45 – Simon Mclaughlin, Data Analyst & Jen Stark, Area Communications Officer, Safety Cameras Scotland

Simon Mclaughlin joined Police Scotland seven years ago and has most of that time within Safety Cameras Scotland as a data analyst with a remit for the east and west of Scotland.

Jen Stark has worked with Police Scotland for over seven years where she has spent the last three within the West Safety Camera Unit as the area communications officer.

Presentation: driVR

driVR is an innovative new 50-minute classroom intervention aimed at 16-18 year olds which utilises virtual reality (VR) and encourages students to consider their attitudes towards road safety.


  • Personal interest in VR
  • Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service VR experience
  • Safety Cameras Scotland use this experience at road safety events
  • Interest in our stands increase
  • Created #SpeedCheck360 for use at events and on social media


  • Transport Scotland’s Road Safety Framework Fund
  • Partner with Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland
  • Classroom based intervention
  • VR experience with scenario involving pedestrian, cyclist and driver/passenger in a car
  • Use recent research
  • Draw on expert knowledge e.g. Education Consultant
  • Evaluate


  • Carried out by TRL
  • Quasi-experimental control design
  • Data to be collected at two time points, from both a control group and intervention group
  • At least 50 students from each group to have completed a pre and a post survey (200 total)

Evaluation is hard!

  • Intervention delivered to over 200 students
  • Return rates worse than expected – more time and better incentive needed

Next steps:

  • Await evaluation results
  • Share findings
  • Continue driVR

12.05 – Priscilla Le Lièvre, Project Officer, European Transport Safety Council

Priscilla Le Lievre joined ETSC in 2018 and is responsible for the SMART project on drink driving. She was previously the road safety grant programme coordinator at the FIA in Paris.

Presentation: YEARS: Young Europeans Acting for Road Safety. Designing safe roads, young engineers implementing infrastructure safety improvements in their local areas


  • Offer a better understanding of young drivers as a road user group particularly at risk
  • Address this risk through innovative actions
  • Promote and disseminate good practices and effective measures adopted by EU Member States through national conferences
  • Design, develop and implement local, cost-effective and sustainable road safety projects

Key deliverables:

  • University lectures – 20 universities
  • YEARS CAMP – one-week training camp in Brussels
  • Students’ challenge – 22 students involved in 11 local road safety actions
  • National events – four conferences with local and international speakers
  • Policy paper – distributed during national events
  • Final Awards Ceremony

YEARS CAMP – activities

Lectures covering:

  • Road safety engineering
  • Road safety campaigning
  • Group exercises

Other activities:

  • EU Institutions: Parliament visit
  • Guided cycling tour

YEARS CAMP – objectives

  • Improve technical knowledge on road safety infrastructure
  • Learn how to run a communication campaign, involving media and public authorities
  • Have a more structured idea on the project students are going to manage
  • Get more motivation to start the YEARS campaign

Competition winner (Naples project)

Technical University of Naples developed engineering solutions to improve a dangerous junction (and gained funding to implement the changes)

Success factors:

  • Involvement of local authorities
  • Technical quality
  • Cost-efficiency
  • Campaigning

11.45 – Quentin Willson, Patron, Young Driver Ltd

Quentin Willson is a well-known voice on TV, radio and in print, regularly raising the issues facing new drivers. He created and presented the Worst Driver TV format on C5, now a successful television franchise broadcast in 14 different countries.

Presentation: The important role that parents play in helping their children to become safer newly qualified young drivers

Squaring the triangle:

  • Young drivers
  • Parents
  • ADIs

Learning to drive without tears & tantrums: How do we improve the contribution of parents in the learn-to-drive journey?

‘If we catch them at a younger (pre-driver) age they will be better drivers – plain and simple’
Young Driver ADI

50% of UK drivers admit to having supervised a learner on a public road in the last five years (AA Populus Poll 2016) – that’s around 15 million providing untrained driving tuition

  • 50% said they haven’t looked at a Highway Code in the last 15 years
  • 55% said they ‘have no idea what the current driving test includes’.
  • 25% believe that reversing round the corner is still part of the current test
  • 65% said that ‘vehicle control’ was the most important part of teaching teens to drive

‘These people are deeply committed – and I believe we have a problem’

‘We need to teach parents to teach their children how to drive’

Parental tuition is on the rise – ‘the number of 17-20 year-olds added as a named driver on motor insurance policies has increased by 122% in the last five years.’ (Ageas Motor Insurance 2017)

Non compliance is rising too – in September 2018 the Motor Insurance Bureau estimated that 25,000 learners in the UK drive while uninsured.

‘Isn’t it time we taught parents how to teach driving?’

  • Only 2% of parents have ever joined their teen on an ADI driving lesson
  • The DVSA says that the average learner has 45 hours with a professional ADI and 22 hours with parents or a family member
  • ‘No systematic parent driving education programs are in place anywhere in the world’ (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: 2017)

Low-cost interventions:

  • Early driving tuition certificate issued by ADI to increase parental engagement
  • Community of mentors and buddies who can pass skills on (would make a generation of adults better drivers as well)
  • Professional driving assessment for all parents before they teach their teen
  • Encourage parents to join their teen on ADI lessons
  • Regular and structured communications between ADI and parents throughout the learn-to-drive journey
  • A suite of parental multi-media tools to help parents improve their teaching skills


  • Increases parental engagement and knowledge
  • Strengthens the tuition triangle between parent teen and ADI
  • Improves the consistency and quality of parental driving tuition messaging
  • Enhances the quality of those 22 hours of private practice
  • Improves driving skills of both teen and parent

10.50 – Professor Gary Burnett, Chair of Transport Human Factors, University of Nottingham

Professor Gary Burnett has over 25 years’ experience in human factors research and development relating to advanced technology within road-based vehicles. His work addresses key safety, usability, and acceptance issues for advanced in-car systems.

Presentation: Training for future driving: lost skills and new skills

The evolving vehicle – the case for technology

Moving from no automation to full automation

25 years ago most vehicles had no automation

Arguments for higher automation in vehicles – vehicles don’t get tired, don’t drink alcohol etc

Modern vehicles (and drivers) have more and more distractions in the form of technology

Issues with higher levels of automation: mode confusion (what is automated, what is not), lack of trust, complacency – new/lost skills

Young drivers interactions with future vehicles

  • Ability to use technology
  • Trust and confidence
  • Acceptance

Recent study – highly-automated vehicles are expected to provide the freedom for drivers to undertake other activities while the vehicle is in control.

What things will young people want to do in these vehicles? (phones, sleep, have sex etc)

Study methodology
30-minute commute over 5 days – what did people do on these journeys?

52 participants, 16 aged under 25yrs


  • Younger drivers have high levels of trust in the vehicle from the start
  • Younger drivers generally more accepting than older drivers
  • When asked to take over driving in emergency situation, younger drivers continue with non-driving tasks for longer
  • Younger drivers significantly better at resuming control on day 1 of the test
  • Younger drivers want automation back earlier than older drivers & resumed non-driving activities more quickly


  • People will quickly develop high trust (particularly younger drivers)
  • Occupants (especially younger people) will wish to undertake a range of activities, often with high visual, manual and cognitive demands
  • There are new skills involved here

10.35 – Professor David Crundall, Professor of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University

David Crundall specialises in traffic and transport psychology. He gained his PhD in 1999 investigating eye movements in novice drivers and has since published over 100 academic papers and book chapters in the field.

One of his current projects is investigating the value of hazard perception training within a 360-degree VR environment.

Presentation: Making hazard perception testing more realistic

Hasn’t changed much since first introduced in 2002 – perhaps we should be making more of VR?

The reported advantages of VR:

  • Immersion – ‘The higher the immersion, the better the training and learning environment’
  • But – is the hype justified (very few studies, but studies do show an increase in sickness among participants – this could be a big problem)

The research project:

  • 24 months
  • Develop 360° hazard tests and training tools
  • Assess their benefits compared to traditional testing and training tools

The first steps

We developed two types of hazard test: Hazard perception vs. hazard prediction (a simpler variant of perception – more transparent way of scoring the test)

12 clips for each test with question – what happens next (4 multiple choices)?

Specific questions:

  • Will Hazard Prediction clips cause more sickness?
  • Will older participants be more susceptible to simulator sickness?

Measures for simulator sickness

  • How Comfortable? (prediction higher than perception)
  • How Realistic? (no difference in test types)
  • How Immersive? (no difference in test types)
  • How Engaging? (prediction test much more engaging)

Was the test?


  • Severe sickness rates were lower than expected (5.6%)
  • A long practice (at least 2 mins) can identify sickness
  • Sickness appears unaffected by age
  • Our Hazard Prediction test does not create more sickness than the Hazard Perception test
  • But performance on the prediction test is too good (80-90%, need to make it harder!

What next?

  • Film more clips for a 360 Hazard Prediction test
  • Compare 360 and single-screen tests
  • Develop CGI clips

10.15 – Pat Delaney, Director of Operations, Driver & Vehicle Agency, Northern Ireland

In his role, Pat Delaney has responsibility for driver testing, vehicle testing and driver licensing and he also leads the Graduated Driver Licensing project.

Presentation: Northern Ireland Graduated Driver Licensing Scheme

Why did we introduce GDL?

A combination of inexperience and youth are at the heart of our problems – young drivers are responsible for 25% of road deaths and 20% of KSIs in N Ireland

  • We do not want anyone to die or be seriously injured on our roads
  • Overwhelming international evidence shows that GDL has been effective in reducing collisions involving novice drivers
  • The quality and consistency of the evidence base is high, and reductions in collisions are seen for novice drivers of all ages

What measures does it include?

  • Six-month mandatory minimum learning period (originally asked politicians for 12 months but didn’t get approved)
  • A programme of training
  • A compulsory student logbook (legislative requirement)
  • Removal of 45mph (72kph) speed restriction
  • Passenger restrictions (not permitted to carry passengers between 14-20yrs in hours of darkness)
  • 24-month ‘new driver’ restriction period (6-months passengers & alcohol)
  • Display a new style distinguishing plate

Changes to the practical driving test

  • Driving tests up to posted speeds
  • Extend hours during which practical tests can be conducted
  • Develop the ‘show me, tell me’ element of the practical test
  • Test routes based on key causation factors of collisions
  • Increase the independent driving section to include sat navs
  • Self-evaluation prior to and after the practical test (how do you think you are going to perform?)

What’s next for Northern Ireland?

  • Does GDL go far enough? No – this is phase 1 but it does require political appetite/support – we can only go as far as our political masters will allow (issues around social mobility etc)
  • Are we engaged enough with 17–24-year olds? Developing GDL on an app for young novice drivers
  • How can we make best use of new technology?
  • No. 10 is interested in us!

09.40 – Dr Bruce Simons-Morton, Senior Investigator, National Institutes of Health

Dr Simons-Morton’s career has included distinguished contributions to academia, public health, and research.

His innovative research on driving has included observational, survey, simulation, naturalistic and experimental studies. He is the author of over 300 scientific publications, books, book chapters and editorials.

Presentation: Improving prevention effectiveness by understanding how novices learn to drive safely

Overview of presentation

Learning to drive safely – a gradual & variable process

Implications for improving safety programs:

  • GDL
  • Driver training
  • Parental management
  • Technology

Driving fatality rates in the UK by age (by million hours use) – 17 to 20-year olds fare worse than their older counterparts; especially among male drivers

Inexperienced drivers of all ages have high crash rates – people make a lot of mistakes early on in their driving career

Naturalistic Driving Research (observed driver performance over time)

  • For all drivers, the more you drive, the greater your risk of a crash – and young drivers are lousy drivers so this is exacerbated
  • There is a lot of variability among young drivers, though overall the risk is high
  • Risky driving decreases when driving with parent, but on their own teenagers elect to drive in a more risky way
  • When learning to drive their crash risk is similar to their parents, but immediately after they get their licence the crash risk rockets
  • The more driving with parents pre-test, the lower the crash risk afterwards
  • Mobile phone distraction – teens were much better than their parents at dealing with cellphone distraction than their parents.

Risk factors and implications for learning to drive safely:

  • Age/inexperience – expertise comes only with experience
  • Exposure – more driving, more risk!
  • Variability – greater among novices and young drivers
  • Risky Driving (KRD) -KRD rates persistently high and variable
  • Distraction – attention control & decision making develop
  • Errors – skill & judgment errors

GDL – Goal is to limit high-risk exposure
Advantages of GDL:

  • Compatible with traditional approaches
  • Easy to understand
  • Adaptable – many possible provisions
  • Modifiable – Can be modified or reversed
  • Observable safety effectiveness!

Driver education and training – classroom and on-road professional instruction covering:

  • Rules of the road
  • Driving skills
  • Prepare license testing
  • Independent driving safety

Evidence that it improves safety is weak – teaches the skills but does it prepare them for independent driving?

Parental management (parent teen agreements)

  • Purposes: limit exposure; enforce safe driving practices
  • Rationale: parents matter to teens; they control the keys

Safety evidence is promising – and technology could help here

Phone blockers

Event recorders:

  • Accelerometers
  • Cameras


  • Learning to drive safely requires time and miles – there is no substitute for this
  • Age, inexperience, exposure, KRD, distraction increase risk
  • GDL works for young drivers; can it work for older novices?
  • Driver education is good at training; can it also contribute to safety?
  • Parents can manage teen independent driving – but most fail to do so, even when prompted.
  • Can we better apply technology more effectively?
  • Existing programs have unrealized potential!

06.00 – About the event

Now in its sixth year, Young Driver Focus is firmly established on the road safety calendar for road safety professionals seeking to learn more about young drivers; how they think and behave, and how to address the challenge of reducing casualties caused by this most vulnerable road user group.

Young Driver Focus is jointly organised by FirstCar, Road Safety GB and the RAC Foundation, in association with the young driver insurer ingenie, the event’s headline sponsor for the past five years.

The 2019 edition of Young Driver Focus will once again be staged at the event’s ‘spiritual home’ – the prestigious Royal Automobile Club on London’s Pall Mall – on Wednesday 1 May.



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