Background & Scope
Young drivers are vastly over-represented in road accident fatality and injury statistics. This problem causes great social and economic costs. While the causes of this problem are well known - and are related principally to inappropriate attitudes, inexperience, age and gender - a major challenge remains in identifying and implementing efficient countermeasures. Therefore, on January 1st 2003 the Two-phase education for novice drivers claiming for license class A or class B was implemented in Austria.
This continuum contains on the one hand already implemented models like driving school education, and on the other hand new models, such as feedback driving in traffic (twice), road safety training on track, and further education in the psychological aspects of traffic, carried out as a group discussion. All three modules have to be completed one year after gaining the driving licence for class A and B.
The Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology decided to let evaluate this measure by the Austrian Road Safety Board in terms of accidents, attitudes and acceptance among young drivers.
In order to estimate effects on traffic safety, the evaluation design was based on four levels: statistical data from all novice drivers in Austria in order to get an impression of the general acceptance, a process evaluation for participants, a wide scale survey and finally a before and- after comparison, carried out with time series analysis models.
Results indicate a good acceptance of the measure as a whole as novice drivers´ feedback is positive. Results of the process evaluation and the wide scale survey show considerable changes in attitude on the track training day, and a bit more critic assessment regarding safety-relevant statements afterwards. However, accident analysis reveals reduction in terms of overall numbers of accidents as well as reductions in serious accidents, especially single vehicle accidents caused by male drivers.
Improvements of the measure should now focus on specific topics like a re-design of the second feedback drive and the optimisation of time frames, as a high number of participants exhaust time frames for completion of single modules.