USC pre-driving research targets 15-year-olds

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USC pre-driving research targets 15-year-olds


USC academic Dr Bridie Scott-Parker

6 June 2016

A new University of the Sunshine Coast study will examine how parents start preparing their 15-year-olds for driving, and how they follow through on this instruction when children get their learner’s licences at 16.

Senior Research Fellow Dr Bridie Scott-Parker, Leader of USC’s Adolescent Risk Research Unit, said the 18-month project would provide a strong foundation for improving young driver road safety.

“We know that young drivers commonly lack the ability to perceive hazards on the road and to anticipate suitable responses”, Dr Scott-Parker said.

“We also know that parents provide most of the supervised driving instruction during the learner period, so we want parents and their young drivers to participate in our study.

“The aim is to learn more about the way parents provide driving instruction to their children through both the pre-learner and learner licence phases.”

The project seeks pre-learner drivers aged 15 and a half who anticipate getting their learner’s licence when they turn 16 years old, as well as the parent or primary caregiver who will provide most of their driver training.

It will involve four evaluation sessions, a survey and driving in the driving simulator at the University’s Sippy Downs campus.

“Once the pre-learner driver has acquired their learner’s licence, we will ask them to record a session of parent driving instruction using a Go-Pro camera,” Dr Scott-Parker said.

“Young drivers and their parents will receive $50 after each of the first three evaluations, totalling $150. Parents and young drivers who complete all four evaluations will receive an additional payment to cover the cost of the learner’s licence ($155.05).”

For further details, contact Research Assistant Ms Leigh Wilks on 0423 095 792 or Dr Scott-Parker at

— Julie Schomberg

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