Debate continues in Australia and overseas about the value of training (or education) for car drivers as a means of improving driver behaviour and reducing road crash involvement (1, 2, 3). This document provides an up-to-date summary of scientifically-based Australian and international research about the effectiveness of driver training/education programs for:

  • learner drivers,
  • young/recently licensed drivers, and
  • experienced drivers.

It summarises and references relevant reports, papers and other publications from scientific journals, conference proceedings or by reputable sources such as government agencies, universities, and research organisations over the last 35 years. These publications applied scientific principles to the evaluation of the effects of driver training on crash involvement, crash risk or other factors such as driver behaviour.

Effectiveness means the degree to which driver training/education programs reduce the participant’s risk of crashing compared with drivers who did not undertake such programs.

While driver training and driver education are not the same, these terms are often used synonymously. Driver training is usually practical and focused on building specific skills and competencies, usually over a short time period. Driver education is broader. While it includes driver training, it also encompasses knowledge about road laws and road safety concepts together with attitudinal and behavioural issues. As many driver training programs have been termed “education” published materials labelled as both “driver education” and “driver training” are considered.

This revised and updated monograph is based on a report prepared for RACV by Dr Ron Christie of RCSC Services called
“The Effectiveness of Driver Training as a Road Safety Measure: A review of the literature”.