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Learner Driver Experience Project


Monash University Accident Research Centre - Report #221 - 2004

Authors: M. Whelan, T. Senserrick, J. Groeger, T. Triggs & S. Hosking.

Full report in .pdf format [250KB]


It is well documented that young and/or inexperienced drivers represent a significant risk of crash involvement. MUARC was commissioned to conduct a longitudinal study to assess two driver-related cognitive perceptual skills, hazard perception and situation awareness. Three assessment sessions were conducted over a three-year period using a computer package to test hazard perception and situation awareness. Novices were assessed before they gained their learner permit, during the learner permit period, and once they entered the probationary licence period. Whilst novices were accurate in detecting hazards in the joining lane their performance on hazards in their own lanes was quite poor. Experienced drivers were significantly faster than novices to detect the primary hazard, and they were also significantly more accurate than novices in detecting hazards overall. For the situation awareness tasks there were differences in performance depending on the type of task (photographs versus videos), because participants were watching scenes for different purposes (to remember versus predict the location of cars). Results are discussed in relation to improving driver training programs.

Sponsoring Organisation: Baseline Research Program - Department of Justice, Transport Accident Commission, VicRoads