The Problem. Teen drivers have an elevated risk of crash during the earliest stages of independent driving and often carry teen passengers in their vehicle. Consequently, teen crashes are the leading cause of death and disability for adolescents around the world. Teen drivers are also adolescents, and thus normative influences including psychobiological immaturity and vulnerability to social and emotional influences exert a strong influence on their road use behaviour. Social and Emotional Influences. Teens are developmentally-vulnerable to social influences, including the influence of peers, parents, police and other drivers, and as such they are likely to become more risky drivers in the presence of negative influence. Teens are also developmentally-vulnerable to emotional influences, including personal characteristics such as sensation seeking, reward sensitivity, depression and anxiety. Theories Relevant to Understanding and thus Reducing the Negative Influence of Social and Emotional Factors. Theories relevant to understanding and thus reducing the negative influence of social and emotional factors include criminological theories (e.g., Akers’ social learning theory), psychosocial theories (e.g., Gerrard and Gibbons’ prototype willingness model), and driving frameworks (e.g., Goals of Driver Education matrix). Interventions Addressing Emotional and Social Influences. Interventions that are discussed in this chapter include graduated driver licensing, training and education, parental programs, feedback techniques, simulation training, enforcement and regulation, and mental health and resilience-focused interventions. Research Priorities. Research priorities include the need to develop and evaluate more effective interventions which target the role of social and emotional factors, including those involving parents, peers, and the use of technology.
Handbook of Teen and Novice Drivers: Research, Practice, Policy, and Directions / Fisher, Donald L, Caird, Jeff, Horrey, William, Trick, L (eds): pp.In press