office (03) 9820 3006 or 920 3008
fax (03) 9820 3007

Risk perception

Cohort study of risk factors for young driver injuries

Robyn Norton, Rebecca Ivers, Lawrence Lam, Mark Woodward, Mark Stevenson (George Institute of International Health), Ann Williamson (Injury Risk Management Research Centre, UNSW), Donald Carseldine (Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW and Maurice Eisenbruch

NHMRC, ID301985. $681,250 (2002: $235,000, 2003: $235,000, 2004: $211,250) 

The aim is to assess the importance of several factors (including pre-licensing driver experience and training/education factors, fatigue, road risk perceptions and risky driving behaviour) as determinants of motor vehicle-related crashes and injuries among young people aged 17-24 years.  The role of ethnicity and culture on perceived risk of driver injury will be determined.

A prospective cohort study of 20,000 young people, recruited at the time they receive their provisional driver's licence from a NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) licensing centre. To date, over 12,650 participants have joined the study and completed the baseline questionnaire, 95% of these online. Mail-outs to eligible drivers for the DRIVE study began in June 2003. Letters were sent on a geographic basis to all eligible drivers in NSW (those holding red p plates, aged 17-24 years, n=104,122) by November 2003. Analysis of the first 12,000 participants showed that 57% of respondents were female, 54% from rural areas and 1.1% identify as indigenous. In 2004, all newly licensed drivers (approximately 5000 per month) are being invited on a monthly basis to join the study, with information resent to all non-responders. Baseline information from participants is linked prospectively to information about motor vehicle crash and injury involvement collected and routinely stored in databases maintained by the RTA and the NSW Coroners.