Despite ongoing enhancements to graduated licensing systems, young drivers continue to have a high risk of being killed or injured in car crashes. This study investigated the influence of parents and peers on the risky behaviour of young drivers, utilising Akers’ social learning theory. The specific factors examined related to parent and peer norms perceived by the young driver, and the rewards and punishments anticipated by the young driver from their parents and peers. A questionnaire was completed by 165 young drivers. Regression analysis revealed that these factors explained 54% of the variance in risky driving. The strongest predictor was anticipated parent rewards, followed by peer norms, and anticipated peer rewards. Exploratory analyses however revealed the profile of predictors varied for male and female participants, and for self-reported offenders and non-offenders. The results highlight the role of psychosocial factors in the risky behaviour of young drivers and the need for road safety policies and programs to consider the influence of both parents and peers upon this behaviour.
2009 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference, Sydney, Australia 10-13 November 2009
Proceedings of the 2009 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference / pp.809-816