While South Australia’s road toll has decreased over the past decade, young drivers are still over–represented in road crashes, much more so than older age groups.
For many young people, getting a driver’s licence is one of the most important things they want to do in their life. However, it is also one of the riskiest things they will ever do.
Research has found four key reasons for the high levels of death and serious injuries in the young driver age group.
More information on the risks for young drivers is available in the Driver’s Handbook.
Anyone wanting to get a driver’s licence in South Australia must progress through the Graduated Licensing Scheme (GLS). The GLS provides a staged progression from the Learner’s Permit time of supervised driving, through unsupervised but restricted solo driving (Provisional Licence), to unrestricted solo driving (Full Licence).
This staged approach encourages growth in knowledge, skills and driving experience, but under supervisory influences and restrictions. The restrictions are successively lifted or relaxed as the driver progresses through the stages.
Novice drivers who gain extensive experience in a range of road conditions become more able to deal with different driving events or adapting to conditions they are not used to. Such drivers also improve their hazard perception skills and ability to scan the road ahead, adding to the range of advanced thinking skills essential to the driving task. Obtaining large amounts of supervised driving hours has been shown to reduce young driver crashes.
Young drivers are at greatest risk of being involved in a crash in their first year of driving unsupervised when they are on their P-plates. Young drivers need significant on-road driving experience before their crash risk decreases.
The rules for drivers with a learner’s permit or a provisional licence have changed over the years. These changes are to help drivers progress safely, through the Graduated Licensing Scheme, towards a full driver’s licence.
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