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Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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The attitudes and reported behaviours of novice drivers : results from the cohort II study

Grayson, G.B. and Elliott, M.A. (2004) The attitudes and reported behaviours of novice drivers : results from the cohort II study. In: Behavioural research in road safety 2004. DfT Publications, pp. 182-193. ISBN 1904763502

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It has long been known that young drivers are over-represented in accidents, and as a result have been a major focus of research and policy in traffic safety in the developed countries of the world for many years. More recently, research has shown that much of this problem is associated with inexperience, in that both younger and older new drivers have an elevated risk of accident involvement in the early stages of their driving careers (Maycock et al., 1991; Forsyth et al., 1995; Mayhew et al., 2000). The first investigation into the new driver problem on a large scale in this country was started in 1988 in the Cohort I study (Forsyth, 1992a, b; Forsyth et al., 1995; Maycock and Forsyth, 1997). Every person who took a driving test on one of four days (two in November 1988 and two in July 1989) was sent a questionnaire two weeks after taking the test. Information on accidents and offences was collected at annual intervals for the first three years of driving. In addition, surveys of attitudes and opinions were carried out at intervals over two years. The results of the Cohort I study provided valuable input to policy on driver training and testing. However, with the passage of time there have been changes to the training and testing regime, notably the introduction of a separate theory test, as well as changes to the practical test itself and in the legislation relating to new drivers. A Cohort II project has therefore been carried out in order to provide up-to-date information about learner and novice drivers that can inform Department for Transport (DfT) policy. The main objectives of the Cohort II study are: • to look at performance in the driving test; • to relate this to learning experiences; • to assess attitudes to safety; • to collect information on accidents/offences in early driving; and • to monitor effects of changes to the training/testing regime. This paper looks at results relating to just one of these objectives, and examines changes in the attitudes and reported behaviours of new drivers over the first two years after passing the practical test.