2.2 Post-Licensure or Second-Tier Driver Education
Overall Effectiveness Concerns: This countermeasure has not been systematically examined. There are insufficient evaluation data available to conclude that the countermeasure is effective.
As discussed in the Young Drivers chapter, Section 2.1, standard pre-licensure driver education leads to earlier licensure but does not reduce crash rates. Based on this conclusion, driver education research has sought to develop post-licensure driver education curricula and to integrate driver education with GDL (Smith, 1994). These “second-tier” post-licensure courses teach safety-related information, building on the on-road experience that the students have acquired in their initial months of driving. They should not be confused with “advanced driving performance” courses that teach driving skills such as panic braking, skid control, and evasive lane-changing maneuvers.
Previous post-licensure driver education courses were remedial, directed at drivers who had accumulated enough violations or crashes to warrant some attention. For this audience, post- licensure driver education had no effect (Ker et al., 2005).
Initiatives in Australia and Europe may provide insight on potential approaches for post-license training for beginning drivers (Senserrick, 2007; Twisk & Stacey, 2007). Christie and colleagues have developed a model “best practice” curriculum for intermediate license drivers with at least 6 months of driving experience in Australia (Christie et al., 2004). The 8-hour curriculum consists of eight modular sessions with a mentor or coach, including one-on-one driving and discussion, group observation and discussion of driving behavior, and telephone follow-up. However, this curriculum has yet to be evaluated.
NHTSA has completed a feasibility study in anticipation of a major evaluation of the benefits of an integrated driver education and GDL program (Hedlund & Compton, 2005).
Use: Post-licensure driver education is still under development. Michigan is the only State that has adopted a two-stage system of driver education (Mayhew, 2007).
Effectiveness: Post-licensure driver education has not yet been evaluated.
Costs: If a post-licensure driver education program proves to be effective, it likely will require substantial funds to implement.
Time to implement: Any course requires at least a year to plan and implement.