Road related fatalities are a global problem. In New South Wales, Australia, excess speed is thought to be one of the leading contributing factors for fatal motor vehicle crashes. Speed management remains an elusive skill for many young drivers. Using lessons learnt from aviation and road domains in Australia, the present research aimed to develop a new practical approach to improve young drivers' speed management behaviour. Experiment 1 tested the effect of three cognitive-based training approaches, namely: self-explanation, reflection and combined feedback (i.e., performance, financial implications, safety implications or combination) in a driving simulator to improve young drivers' speed management behaviour immediately post-training, one week post-training (short-term) and six months post-training (long-term) in three different speed zones (low, moderate, high). The results reflected positively on both self-explanation and combined feedback. Self-explanation improved young drivers' speed management behaviour in the low-speed zone of 40km/h, across all time periods. However, combined feedback led to improvement in all three speed zones across all time periods. Experiment 2 examined which aspect of the combined feedback (i.e., performance, financial implications, safety implications or combination) yielded positive changes in speed management under the same test conditions as in Experiment 1. The results reflected positively on the different aspects of feedback, with the elements of performance, finance and safety feedback yielding the most positive results. Experiment 3 moved from the laboratory out onto the road, and investigated the effect of two cognitive-based training interventions (i.e., combined feedback and self-explanation) on young drivers' speed management behaviour in the operational environment. In contrast to the previous two experiments, participants were tested at two post-training time periods, namely: immediately post-training and one week post-training. The results revealed that combined feedback was the most effective training intervention, followed by the combination of self-explanation and combined feedback, at each time period, and in all three speed zones. The findings from the three experiments provide insight about various training methods and their effectiveness in improving young drivers' speed management behaviour.
Dr Brett Molesworth
Dr Oleksandra Krasnova