Accuracy of young male drivers’ self-assessments of driving skill

Laila Marianne Martinussen, Mette Møller, Carlo Giacomo Prato

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    Abstract

    Accurate self-assessment of skill is important because it creates an appropriate level of confidence and hence behaviour. Inaccurate self-assessment of driving ability has been linked to reckless driving and accidents. Inaccurate self-assessment of driving skills may be a contributing factor to the over-representation of young male drivers in accident statistics. Most previous research on self-assessment of driving skills did not compare self-reported skills to objectively measured driving skills, so the aims of this study were: (1) to test the accuracy of young male drivers’ self-assessments of specific driving skills by comparing them with performance in a driving simulator; (2) to test whether self-assessment accuracy varied with driving skill, driving experience and sensation-seeking propensity. We found that young male drivers’ self-assessments were inconsistent with their driving performance, and that this inconsistency varied with driving skill, driving experience and sensation-seeking propensity. Groups with particularly inaccurate self-assessments are at high risk, because of their relative lack of skill, high mileage and sensation-seeking propensity. Self-assessments of hazard prediction and detection skills were particularly inaccurate. Understanding self-assessments of driving skill is crucial, but further studies are needed to allow preventive policies and interventions to take factors affecting self-assessments into account.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTransportation Research. Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
    Volume46
    Issue numberA
    Pages (from-to)228-235
    ISSN1369-8478
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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