Teen driver behaviour in seminar spotlight

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Teen driver behaviour in seminar spotlight


Published on 13 March 2014

How are teenage driver behaviours influenced by parental supervision and the presence of passengers in their cars?

The answers to these questions will be among the research findings to be outlined at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Thursday 27 March, in a seminar that will also offer top tips to young drivers on how to keep themselves, their friends and others safe on the roads.

Issues ranging from tailgating to Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs will be discussed by international, national and USC researchers at the USC Innovation Centre from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

 Dr Bridie Scott-Parker, Research Fellow with seminar organiser USCAR (University of the Sunshine Coast Accident Research), said the talks would focus on understanding the experiences of younger drivers, who had higher crash rates than older drivers.

She said leading expert Dr Bruce Simons-Morton, of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Maryland, United States, would discuss the causes and prevention of risky teenage driving such as speeding and abrupt manoeuvring.

“He will provide comparisons in driving performance among teenagers and their parents, among teenagers in the presence of passengers and after parental interventions, and the variations in risk due to passenger presence and social norms,” she said. “His data supports increased parental management of learner drivers.”

Associate Professor Teresa Senserrick, of the University of New South Wales, also will discuss her research on whether young people drive like their parents, and whether Australia is creating a legacy of shared driver behaviour.

Dr Scott-Parker and her USC colleague, Associate Professor Paul Salmon, also will present their recent findings about novice drivers and crash research.

“It will be fantastic to engage with the USC community and the wider Sunshine Coast community to share this latest research,” she said. “USCAR is also collaborating on some exciting projects with these visiting experts.”

The free, interactive seminar will attract members of industry, academia and government, as well as USC students.

Members of the public who are interested in road safety, particularly parents and young drivers, are welcome. To register, call 5456 5595 or email <kneylan@usc.edu.au>.

The seminar will be filmed and later available online.

Julie Schomberg

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