Lifestyle

Doubts about defensive driving

Defensive driving focuses on vehicle handling, skid control and hazards perception.
Defensive driving focuses on vehicle handling, skid control and hazards perception. Nat Bromhead

DEFENSIVE driving courses may actually increase the risk of accidents because they promote over-confidence in young people, according to new research.

A study from the Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre examined the effectiveness of driver training techniques and found defensive driving does not improve road safety.

Defensive driving is often taught as part of advanced training, and focuses on vehicle handling, skid control and hazards perception.

The study found skid control training in particular led to increased crashes, because students focused on their manoeuvring skills rather than avoiding dangerous situations.

This fostered over-confidence, the study found, and resulted in drivers being less likely to avoid situations, such as poor weather conditions, "which they erroneously believe themselves capable of handling".

"Driver training focused on vehicle handling skills can make drivers more efficient at vehicle handling; however this does not necessarily make them safer since they may become over-confident," the research found.

The study was commissioned by the RAC in WA, where people aged between 17 and 24 account for 20 per cent of road deaths despite representing just 12 per cent of the population.

Study author Dr Vanessa Beanland said professional driving lessons and resilience training - which focused on attitudes to risky behaviour such as alcohol and drug use - were found to improve road safety.

But she said much more research was needed to determine the effectiveness of other methods, including simulation training.

The research also found learner drivers were less likely to crash when supervised by a professional as opposed to a relative or friend.

"Crashes do occur during professional lessons, however, they are less serious, most are low-speed crashes in urban areas, such as rear-end collisions, whereas during lay supervision high speed crashes in rural areas are more common," the paper said.

Those who received professional training also had more favourable attitudes towards reckless driving, drink driving, speeding and violations and were less likely to overestimate their driving ability.

But the combination of professional lessons and instruction from family was deemed the best option, and gave young drivers the best chance at passing their first test.

Topics:  defensive driving drive p-plate driver


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Buses run for free on New Year's Eve

Public transport on the Sunshine Coast will be free from 8.45pm on New Year's Eve.

More than 20 extra buses being put on to cope with demand

Coolum dancer makes it big in Canada

17-year-old Coast ballerina awarded bursary to dance overseas.

Local Partners

Daylight saving: 'Draw a line from Goondiwindi to Rocky'

A QUEENSLAND retiree believes he has a solution to the time zone anomaly which sees Queensland operate an hour behind the rest of the east coast.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

The surprising problem police face at Woodford Folk Festival

STREET SCENE: Woodford Folk Festival 2016.

The biggest issue for police at Woodfordia is not what you'd expect

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Coolum land is hot property

Blank canvas ready to build on

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!