Driving styles among young novice drivers-The contribution of parental driving styles and personal characteristics

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Abstract

As part of the effort to ascertain why young drivers are more at risk for car crashes, attention has recently turned to the effects of family, including the intergenerational transmission of driving styles from parents to offspring. The current study sought to further understanding of the nature and aspects of the family influence with the help of Bowen's family systems theory. In Phase 1 of the prospective study, 130 young driving students completed questionnaires tapping personal and personality measures, and their parents completed driving-related instruments. In Phase 2, a year after the young drivers had obtained their driver's license, they were administered the same questionnaires their parents had previously completed. The results show significant correlations between the parents' driving styles and those of their offspring a year after licensure. Furthermore, differentiation of self and self-efficacy in newly acquired driving skills were found to moderate or heighten the similarity between the driving styles of parents and their offspring. For young drivers reporting anxiety in Phase 1, this was associated with a reported anxious driving style a year later. Among young female drivers, anxiety was also associated with a reckless and careless style. Higher sensation seeking was related to higher reckless driving among young male drivers. The findings are discussed in the context of adolescence and the role of the study variables in the development and intergenerational transmission of driving styles. In addition to its theoretical contribution to the realms of intergenerational transmission in general, and young drivers in particular, the study may have practical implications for both family therapy and the design of driving interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-570
Number of pages13
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study is part of the Ph.D. dissertation submitted to the School of Social Work, Bar-Ilan University by the first author, and was carried out under the supervision of the second author. It was supported by the Ran Naor Foundation for research on road safety .

Funding

The study is part of the Ph.D. dissertation submitted to the School of Social Work, Bar-Ilan University by the first author, and was carried out under the supervision of the second author. It was supported by the Ran Naor Foundation for research on road safety .

FundersFunder number
Ran Naor Foundation

    Keywords

    • Driving styles
    • Parents
    • Young drivers

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