Driver Education Initiative – Goals and context of driving

Name: Wafaa Mohammad Ali Alkhowly
From: Sanaa, Ymene
Votes: 46570

Goals for life
and skills for living

The fourth
level, Goals for life and skills for living, deals with how a
person’s various motives and goals for life, in a particular phase
of his or her life, affect that person’s way of driving. Here, the
car is regarded as a means of achieving the different goals for life
that a person has set himself or herself. The idea is also that
factors such as what we are like as individuals and how we live our
day-to-day lives also affect our approach to driving and our
behaviour as drivers. These factors also include personality factors
such as self-control, as well as lifestyle, social background,
gender, age, group affiliation and other preconditions that research
has shown to have influence on attitudes, motives, choices, and
behaviour as a driver.9–12

Goals and
context of driving

The third
level, Goals and context of driving, refers to the goals and
purpose of the journey and the environment in which it is made. In
this context, the car is viewed as a tool for meeting the demands of
everyday life. On this level, the driver must decide when, with whom,
and whether he or she should drive.
Such decisions have a major bearing
on road safety.

According to
Peräaho et al,13 this includes, for example, planning a
driving route and driving time (for example, daytime or night-time
driving), as well as choice of driving state (alcohol, stress,
fatigue, etc), and driving company.

Mastery of
traffic situations

The second lowest
level, Mastery of traffic situations, is about driving in
specific traffic situations. Mastery of many different traffic
situations is a vitally important skill for a driver to acquire. A
driver must, while driving, interact with other road users, be able
to anticipate their behaviour and make it possible for other drivers
to understand and anticipate his or her driving behavior. Knowledge
of traffic rules, hazard perception, and interaction with other road
users are typical tasks at this level.

Vehicle
maneuvering

Vehicle
maneuvering is the basis of driving. If a driver has not
practiced to the extent that he or she can perform the most
fundamental maneuvers automatically, considerable problems arise in
managing the huge flow of information that a driver needs to process
and decide on while driving. In addition, a driver needs to know
about how a car should be equipped and maintained to make it as safe
as possible. This level includes not only basic skills such as
knowledge of controls, driving off, braking, gear changing, and so
on, but also more complex knowledge such as keeping the car under
control, evasive maneuvering, understanding the concept of traction,
the impact of seat belts, etc.

FROM A STRICTLY
HIERARCHICAL MODEL TO A SKILLS BASED MODEL FOR DRIVERS

In analyzing what a
driver needs to know in order to drive safely, it emerges that good
maneuvering skills alone are not enough. A driver must also have the
will to behave correctly and the experience needed to enable him or
her to behave correctly. A driver must also understand that the
social context affects what a person can do, wants to do, and is
permitted to do as a driver. To be able to drive successfully, every
learner must learn what is correct behavior in different situations,
what can affect behavior, and how to develop thinking to be able to
evaluate him- or herself, driving, and choice of transport in various
situations.

A proficiency model
comprising Goals for Driver Education (GDE) (table 1) states
specifically what driver training should focus on in order to produce
the safest possible new drivers.7 A study of the model reveals
that the tasks of a driver are many: first, any journey has to be
planned; then, various choices have to be made to establish the best
way of getting to a destination; and furthermore, the driver must be
able to handle a car in a large number of different traffic
situations, and do so in a way that minimizes risk. All of this must
be done in a social context that influences the individual’s
choices in some direction.

The model is
constructed on the four hierarchical levels shown in figure 1.
However, it also extends over three columns, Knowledge and
skills a driver has to master, Risk-increasing factors a
driver must be aware of and Self-evaluation. Knowledge and
skills a driver has to master focuses on the theoretical
knowledge and skills necessary to drive the car and use it in a way
to convey the person to where he or she wants to go. Risk-increasing
factors a driver must be aware of focuses on what may affect the
risk of crash and injury that is always present during
driving. Self-evaluation focuses on the ability of the
individual driver to evaluate his/her knowledge and skills
accurately. The main principle here is self-evaluation with regard to
driving and traveling. The four levels, combined with the three areas
of knowledge, lead directly to various driving skills. Together, they
identify the proficiency that a driver needs to be able to drive a
car safely. Table 1 provides examples of the skills encompassed by
the GDE matrix.

FROM SOLELY
SPECIFYING DRIVING SKILLS TO DEVELOPING PREVENTIVE MEASURES FOR YOUNG
DRIVERS

The structure of the
GDE may be modified from one that specifies only what a driver needs
for essential skills, knowledge, and awareness into a tool for
developing various different preventive measures aimed at improving
safety among young drivers. If the GDE matrix is to be used for this
purpose, the preventive measures must be developed by taking into
account the background research behind the GDE matrix. The lowest
level in the GDE matrix, Vehicle maneuvering, may be said to
fall within the operational category of driving, while the second
lowest level, Mastery of traffic situations, is classified
within the tactical category and the third level, Goals and
context of driving, is rather to be attributed to the strategic side
of driving. Breaking down the GDE model via a scale ranging from
operational to strategic, via tactical, in which the strategic
element affects the tactical, which then affects the operational
side, makes it possible to develop preventive measures at a higher
level than those that merely try to train newly qualified drivers to
improve their “car control handling skills”. When viewed from
this perspective, it is easy to understand why several attempts to
improve safety by improving skills on the two lowest levels, Vehicle
maneuvering and Mastery of traffic situations, usually show
a failure to reduce crashes.14,15 Hatakka et al find
that: “if the motivational level fails to produce a safe strategy
for driving, no level of skills in mastering traffic situations or
vehicle handling is high enough to compensate for this lack of safety
orientation and to produce a safe output”

The
terms age and experience may be said to be two
general concepts covering a host of qualities which affect the risk
of a crash. Extensive driving experience is important in terms of the
capacity to handle the large volume of information received by a
driver, and, at the same time, to drive the car. In addition, great
experience is a must in automating the task of driving as much as
possible, thereby releasing mental resources for interacting with
other road users. Age, for its part, more affects how and for what
purpose a car is used. If age and experience are to be related to the
GDE matrix, it may be said that the two lowest levels, Vehicle
maneuvering and Mastery of traffic situations, have more to
do with experience, because all drivers irrespective of age must
possess the skills specified in the GDE matrix. The two top
levels, Goals for life and skills for living and Goals
and context of driving, are more age specific. Against that
background, influencing the motivation of the young driver category
for driving is more likely to be effective in terms of crash and
injury prevention than attempting to make them into even more skilled
drivers technically. The focus should therefore be to make young
drivers aware that their personal motives, tendencies, and social
relations in the broader sense always aff

ect their goals and
context of driving, with the aim of getting them to change their
goals behind driving and the context in which driving is
performed—that is, why a driver is driving on a certain occasion,
where and when, and with whom. In this way, by bringing about a
change in driving habits through improved planning of driving route
and driving time (day or night), as well as choice of driving state
(alcohol, stress, fatigue, etc) and driving company, it should be
possible to reduce the number of driving related injuries.

Which preventive
measures could work?

To change a young
driver’s goals behind driving and the context in which it is
performed, a wide variety of different methods of persuasion should
be tested. Both “soft” and “hard” methods should be used. For
example, communication and increased enforcement may be used
simultaneously. Communication campaigns should highlight the dangers
of unsafe behavior and should particularly target young males, as
well as other young drivers, role models, and pre-driving
teens.17Long lasting effects of communication campaigns seem
difficult to achieve, and therefore we can learn much from successful
campaigns and the strategies they use.17 Communication campaigns
that employ persuasive, emotional messages are the most effective
where young drivers are concerned. These should place particular
emphasis on issues such as speed, drunk driving, mobile phone use,
etc, and should target young males.17 Research also shows that
attitudes about safety are formed at an early age, long before legal
driving, and on that basis it would also be important to target young
adolescents.11

Laws need
enforcement to be effective and should target areas of particular
risk to young drivers.17Enforcement and communication campaigns
should be used in combination. Combination of different methods gives
the best results.17

Economic incentives
could promote safer behavior and target young males in particular
(for example, lower insurance premiums for young drivers who have no
incidents or who use certain technology).

It cannot be
expected that driver education or communication campaigns will
radically change a young person’s life goals. For that purpose,
active learning methods that make use of the learner’s own
experiences have to be applied.13 Special courses for young
drivers designed to make individuals conscious of their personal
tendencies and the type of social context that affects their driving
behavior could be helpful for this purpose, whether offered via the
ordinary school system or at driving schools. The key to learning
about the higher levels in the hierarchy and to raising the level of
self-evaluative skills lies in the activity of the learner himself or
herself.13 Training of self-evaluative and meta-cognitive skills
must therefore be included in courses for young drivers. This
provides an opportunity for developing expertise after training, and
for attaining and modifying motives and goals on the highest levels
of the hierarchy.13 This strategy could change a young driver’s
choices about where, when, and with whom he or she drives a car.

In addition, modern
technology is also available for preventive purposes, including
protective measures based on technology targeting speed (for example,
“black box” devices) and the alco-lock, which prevents drink
driving. Smart cards could be used in preventing unauthorized
driving.

DISCUSSION

Every year, drivers
throughout the world are killed or injured in road traffic. Young
drivers run a greater risk everywhere, and this problem is still
largely unsolved. Better understanding of the underlying processes
could, however, be a useful tool in preventive endeavors. The focus
of this paper is to give an understanding that a person’s life
ambition (goals for life) and goals and context of driving sometimes
influence young drivers and their passangers in terms of traffic
safety more than their ability of mastering different driving
situations and their skill of vehicle maneuvering. Better knowledge
of these factors will make it possible to design safety measures
specially tailored for young drivers or different subgroups of
drivers. This is expected to help make the measures more effective
and to reduce the conflict between mobility and safety.

The idea behind the
GDE matrix offers the possibility of developing different
countermeasures for young drivers. If this is adapted as closely as
possible to this group and their driving situations, it should be
possible to significantly enhance safety.

In most countries of
the world, young drivers show a high crash risk relative to elderly
and more experienced drivers. Examination of the actual figures
indicates that only 1–2% of young drivers (per year) are involved
in a fairly severe crash. Against that background, it is important to
take the concept of health into consideration, since a healthy life
does not consist only of the absence of misfortune. Human health also
includes physical and psychological wellbeing.
The World
Health Organization18 defines health as:

A state of complete
physical, social and mental wellbeing, and not merely the absence of
disease or infirmity.

Health is a resource
for everyday life, not the object of living. It is a positive concept
emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical
capabilities.

Being able to get
around by car when and where one wants is a source of wellbeing for
many young people. Restricting the needs of the majority because of
the few who are involved in a crash risks lowering the collective
level of health for young people as a group. Selective influence is
therefore important from two viewpoints: eliminating as many crashes
as possible, without simultaneously restricting mobility for young
people as a whole. If this is done in a way that is properly suited
to the target groups and the situation at hand, it should be possible
to achieve significant positive effects on safety and health at the
same time.

Name: Wafa
Mohammed Ali Al – Khowly
Razi University

Second level
business administration