Research Papers

EVALUATION OF THE BEGINNER DRIVER EDUCATION PROGRAM IN ONTARIO.

Filename 7B-Ma-FP.docx
Filesize 219 KB
Version 1
Date added June 30, 2016
Downloaded 4 times/fois
Category 2016 CARSP XXVI Halifax
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 7B
Author/Auteur Chris Janusz, Tracey Ma, Francine Rubin
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation

Slidedeck Presentation

7B - Ma

Abstract

Background/Context: Beginner Driver Education (BDE) programs are commonly included in Graduated Licensing Systems (GLS) for novice drivers. In Ontario, the BDE program has two main components: in-class driver education and on-road driving training. The expectation is that BDE improves driving skills and should lead to reduced collision involvement rates and reduced collision severity. However, evaluations of BDE programs in various North American jurisdictions have produced rather disappointing results, indicating, at best, no difference between crash rates of drivers who have taken a BDE course and those who have not. To date, the Ontario’s GLS program has been evaluated in several studies. However, evaluations of the BDE component have led to mixed results, possibly due to lack of reliable exposure measures that are either difficult to estimate or that are not sufficiently specific.

Aims/Objectives: The goal of that study was to compare road safety using driver collision and conviction data for three distinct groups of novice drivers: those who took BDE and obtained a time discount on G1 level (BDE-TD), those who took BDE and but did not obtain any time discount (BDE-NTD) and those who never took BDE training (NO-BDE).

Methods/Target Group: Ten years of data, capturing all Ontario novice drivers entering GLS between 2004 and 2013 were used in this analysis. In addition, the results of the Young Driver Survey (2013) conducted by TIRF were used to learn more about novice driver characteristics and to understand the relationship between these characteristics and subsequent collision risk.

In this work, we used a quasi-induced exposure methodology, in which exposure was measured via not-at-fault collision involvement, to investigate the relationship between BDE completion in Ontario and a novice driver’s subsequent risk for causing collisions. Collision involvement and suspension rates were calculated for three distinct groups of novice drivers."

Results/Activities: Consistent with other North American studies, our main finding was that BDE produced little effect on collision risk for novice drivers in Ontario. However, drivers who never took BDE had suspension rates for CCC and HTA offences twice as high as drivers who completed BDE.

Discussion/Deliverables: Despite using more careful measures of exposure (i.e., “not-at-fault” collision involvement) to calculate “at-fault” collision involvement rates, the differences between three groups of novice drivers were found to be small. Our further efforts to collect additional driving exposure data for novice drivers through the Young Driver Survey (YDS) rendered our outcome measures even more alike for all three groups of novice drivers.

It is possible that BDE courses teach the novice driver skills, including more mature driving behaviour, correct actions in extreme or unusual driving situations, or knowledge of vehicle design and maintenance, but that these are offset by over confidence resulting from course completion. The findings suggest that we may reconsider some of the content of BDE courses."

Conclusions: BDE courses that focus on basic driving skills might not be sufficient to create safer young drivers. Further research is required to understand what type of educational focus might be more beneficial.

Chris Janusz, Tracey Ma, Francine Rubin