Young drivers’ early access to their own car and crash risk into early adulthood: Findings from the DRIVE study

Huei Yang Chen, Holger Möller, Teresa M. Senserrick, Kris D. Rogers, Patricia Cullen, Rebecca Q. Ivers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Car ownership at early licensure for young drivers has been identified as a crash risk factor, but for how long this risk persists is unknown. This study examined crash hazard rates between young drivers with their own vehicle and those who shared a family vehicle at early licensure over 13 years. Methods: The DRIVE study, a 2003/04 survey of 20,806 young novice drivers in New South Wales, Australia was used to link to police crash, hospital and death records up to 2016. The first police-reported crash and crash resulting in hospitalisation/death was modelled via flexible parametric survival analysis by type of vehicle access at baseline (own vs. shared family vehicle). Results: After adjusting for covariates, drivers with their own vehicle at early licensure had an almost 30 % increased hazard rate for any crash after one year (95 % CI:1.16–1.42) compared with those who only had access to a family car and this attenuated but remained significantly higher until year 7 (HR: 1.1, 95 % CI: >1.00–1.20). For crashes resulting in hospitalisation or death, an almost 15-times higher hazard (95 % CI: 1.40–158.17) was observed at the start of follow up, remaining 50 % to year 3 (95 % CI:1.01–2.18). Conclusions: Parents and young drivers should be aware of the increased risks involved in car ownership at early licensure. Development of poorer driving habits has been associated with less parental monitoring at this time. Graduated Driving Licensing educators, researchers and stakeholders should seek to address this and to identify improved safety management options.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107516
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


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