Introducing accompanied driving in Denmark. Safety-related differences between youth licensing with immediate or delayed access to solo driving

Mette Møller*, Kira Hyldekær Janstrup, Katrine Hjorth, Divera A.M. Twisk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

In Denmark, the legal license age was lowered from 18 to 17, to allow practice with an experienced driver before solo driving from age 18. The change gives the candidate driver a choice between: a) licensing at age 17 followed by a phase of accompanied driving until solo driving at age 18 (L17), and b) licensing at age 18 (or older) giving immediate access to solo driving (L18). The purpose of this study is: First, to explore safety-related differences between youth choosing the L17 or the L18 option, with a particular focus on safety attitude and self-assessed driving skills. Second, to map patterns in the use of accompanied driving and its predictors as well as the interaction between the L17 driver and the accompanying person (ACP). A sample of 632 drivers (53% male) between 17 and 19 years of age completed a survey. Among the participants 61% licensed through L17 and 39% through L18. Our results identify different risk profiles between L17 and L18. A higher score on perceptual-motor skills, lower score on safety skills and lower support to speed limits predicted L17. Female L17 were more safety-oriented compared to male L17. L17 who had experienced a supportive atmosphere and engagement in complex traffic situations during the drive were more likely to indicate that accompanied driving had improved their driving skills. However, results also indicate that the amount of experience obtained by L17 may be insufficient to obtain a safety benefit. Measures to address speeding and other risk-taking behaviours among male candidate drivers are needed to ensure a safety benefit of the Danish accompanied driving scheme. In addition, requirements may be needed to increase the amount of accompanied driving. Finally, parent guidelines could support the creation of a positive atmosphere during the drive.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106394
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Volume162
ISSN0001-4575
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Accompanied driving
  • Driving age
  • Speeding
  • Supervised driving
  • Young driver

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