An increasing number of countries are requiring an extended learner permit prior to independent driving. The question of when drivers begin the learner permit period, and how long they hold the permit before advancing to independent licensure has received little research attention. Licensure timing is likely to be related to “push” and “pull” factors which may encourage or inhibit the process. To examine this question, we recruited a sample of 90 novice drivers (49 females and 41 males, average age of 15.6 years) soon after they obtained a learner permit and instrumented their vehicles to collect a range of driving data. Participants completed a series of surveys at recruitment related to factors that may influence licensure timing. Two distinct findings emerged from the time-to-event analysis that tested these push and pull factors in relation to licensure timing. The first can be conceptualized as teens’ motivation to drive (push), reflected in a younger age when obtaining a learner permit and extensive pre-permit driving experience. The second finding was teens’ perceptions of their parents’ knowledge of their activities (pull); a proxy for a parents’ attentiveness to their teens’ lives. Teens who reported higher levels of their parents’ knowledge of their activities took longer to advance to independent driving. These findings suggest time-to-licensure may be related to teens’ internal motivation to drive, and the ability of parents to facilitate or impede early licensure.
- Learner permit
- Novice teenage drivers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Safety Research