Learner driver follow-up study: attitude change and driver behavior

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2015
Biçer, Duygu Özlem
Novice drivers are overrepresented in accidents especially at the beginning of solo driving. Learning process is important in driving because pre-attitudes and behaviors could determine the later driver behaviors. Therefore, driver education and training become irrefutably critical for safe driving. The first aim of the current study is investigating the attitude change of learner drivers through driver education and training by taking attitude measurements both before the beginning of education and after they complete driving practices. Second aim is investigating the attitude effect on driver behaviors which are observed during driving practices. 150 learner drivers (92 male, 58 female) whose mean age was 25.26 participated in the study voluntarily. Turkish version of Manchester Driver Attitude Scale (Lajunen, & Özkan, 2004) was used to measure driving-specific attitudes and Traffic Safety Climate Scale (Özkan, & Lajunen, unpublished(a); Gehler, Hagemaister, & Özkan, 2014) was used to measure attitudes toward traffic climate. Then, driver behaviors were measured by Driver Behavior Questionnaire with positive driver behaviors (Özkan, & Lajunen, 2005) to see self-reported driver behaviors during driving practices. Results showed that, risky-oriented attitudes of learner drivers increased over the learning period but safety-oriented attitudes and traffic climate attitudes did not change after driver education. Pre and post attitudes differed in predicting driving behaviors but risky-oriented attitudes seem the most powerful predictor of different driver behaviors which are observed during driving practices. The results, contributions and limitations of the study were discussed along with the suggestions for the future research.