The New Zealand Drivers Study (NZDS)

A Follow-up Study of Newly Licensed Drivers

The New Zealand Drivers Study is a prospective cohort study of 3992 newly licensed car drivers. The study participants are being followed up as they progress through the graduated driver licensing system (GDLS) to obtain detailed information on the driving and driving-related behaviours of novice drivers. This information is obtainedin a series of interviews which are linked to the three licensing stages of the graduated driver licensing system. Stage 1: Face-to-face recruitment of the study participants took place after passing the learner licence test, at which time signed consents and a baseline questionnaire were completed. Stage 2: The first follow-up interviews take place after the restricted licence test has been passed. This telephone interview includes items relating to driving behaviour and driving related attitudes and experiences during the learner licence period, and expectations of the restricted licence stage. In addition, 1200 parents/caregivers of young drivers were interviewed at this stage to examine the role of parents/caregivers as the supervisor of a young learner driver. Stage 3: The second follow-up interview (also a telephone interview, corresponds to passing the full licence test. This interview includes items relating to experiences as a restricted licence driver. Consent was obtained from virtually all study participants to follow up their traffic records using national traffic crash and injury databases for ten years after they gain their full licence.

Primary Aim:
To explore the relationship between a comprehensive range of driving and traffic safety related factors, for example, driving experience, motivation for driver licensing, driver training, alcohol and drug use, risk-taking, and subsequent traffic crashes and convictions among newly licensed drivers; and from this, to identify specific areas that can be targeted to reduce traffic-related injury among this high-risk group.

Secondary Aims:
– To examine this relationship specifically for newly licensed Māori drivers (see below);
– To examine the role of parents/caregivers as supervisors of newly licensed drivers (see below); and
– To evaluate the impact of current novice driver training programmes on driving-related outcomes.

Project Team: Dorothy Begg, John Langley, John Broughton, Rebecca Brookland, Shanthi Ameratunga, Anna McDowell

Funding: Health Research Council of New Zealand, Accident Compensation Corporation, Road Safety Trust

Additional Support: The Driver Licence Registry (DLR) maintains a database of the NZDS study participants and tracks their progress through the licensing system. New Zealand Automobile Association accommodated the recruitment of study participants at their agencies throughout New Zealand.

Driving Experience Among Newly Licensed Māori Drivers.

Phone: +64 3 479-7202

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