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Journal Article


Laapotti S, Keskinen E, Hatakka M, Katila A. Accid. Anal. Prev. 2001; 33(6): 759-769.


Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland.


(Copyright © 2001, Elsevier Publishing)






The study compared accident and offence rates of 28 500 novice drivers in Finland. The purpose was to study differences in accident and offence rates between male and female novice drivers of different age. The drivers reported in a mailed questionnaire, how many accidents they had been involved in and how much they had driven during their whole driving career. All the drivers had a driving experience of 6-18 months. Information about offences for a 2-year period was obtained from an official register of drivers' licences. The drivers were classified into three age brackets: 18-20, 21-30 and 31-50 years. The effect of driving experience was controlled by dividing the drivers into different mileage brackets. The data was analysed and the results were discussed in the framework of the hierarchical model of driving behaviour. Young novice drivers and especially young male drivers showed more problems connected to the higher hierarchical levels of driving behaviour than middle-aged novice drivers. The number of accidents and offences was highest among the young males and their accidents took place more often at night than female or older drivers' accidents. Female drivers showed more problems connected to the lower hierarchical levels of driving behaviour, e.g. problems in vehicle handling skills. Ways of measuring accident risk of different driver groups were also discussed, as well as the usefulness and reliability of self-reports in accident studies.


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