Stability and change in risky driving from the late teens to the late twenties
Little is known about the factors associated with different across-time patterns of risky driving behaviour. This paper - the product of a collaborative partnership between the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the Transport Accident Commission of Victoria and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria - uses data from the longitudinal Australian Temperament Project to: (a) examine patterns of risky driving from the late teens to the late twenties; and (b) to identify factors associated with persistence and change in risky driving tendencies.
Rates of risky driving remained fairly stable between the ages of 19-20 and 23-24 years, but had significantly decreased by 27-28 years.
While there was a general trend for levels of risky driving to decrease, considerable variability was found in the risky driving patterns of individuals over this period.
Antisocial behaviour appeared to be strongly linked to persistence and change in risky driving, adding support to the view that risky driving may form part of a broader underlying propensity to engage in problem behaviour(s).
Low social skills were associated with an increasing propensity for risky driving among some young drivers.
Binge drinking, gender, and parental status also differentiated between drivers who exhibited different across-time patterns of risky driving.
Findings add to a growing body of research, which suggests that risky drivers are not identical - the factors that underlie their behaviour may differ.
Authors and Acknowledgements
Suzanne Vassallo and Julie Lahausse are Research Fellows at the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Ben Edwards is Executive Manager, Longitudinal Studies, at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
The authors would like to thank the Transport Accident Commission of Victoria and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria for providing the opportunity to undertake this research, and in particular, Samantha Cockfield and Melinda Congiu for their helpful comments on the study design and an earlier draft of this report.
We would also like to acknowledge the other ATP Principal Investigators - Professors Ann Sanson, John Toumbourou, Margot Prior and Frank Oberklaid, and Mrs Diana Smart and Dr Craig Olsson - for the contributions they have made to the ATP, and Dr Killian Mullan, for the statistical guidance he provided on this report.
Finally, we would like to sincerely thank the young people and their parents who have participated in the Australian Temperament Project. Without their loyalty and commitment, this research would not have been possible.
This work was commissioned and funded by the Transport Accident Commission of Victoria and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria. Data are taken from the Australian Temperament Project (ATP), a collaborative partnership between the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the University of Melbourne, the Royal Children's Hospital and Deakin University. The ATP is led and managed by the Australian Institute of Family Studies and has been supported by various Australian Research Council grants. Views expressed in this publication are those of the individual authors and may not reflect those of the organisations involved.
Vassallo, S., Lahausse, J., & Edwards, B (2013). Stability and change in risky driving from the late teens to the late twenties (Research Paper No. 51). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
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