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Rethinking Young Drivers

NCJ Number
J P Rothe
Date Published
291 pages
This book presents a multiple-perspective approach for identifying, defining, and describing young drivers, followed by recommendations for teaching youth to become safe drivers.
Following a literature review pertaining to young drivers, an essay presents the philosophical and conceptual bases for the research. The framework, entitled "Complementarity," was developed from the assumptions and logic of phenomenology, sociology, and psychology. The first research essay features the concept of "Erlebnis," the experience of a dramatic or shocking event. The essay examines how young drivers "made sense" out of their involvement in injury-producing traffic crashes and how their daily lives influenced the conditions leading up to and following the crashes. The next essay focuses on "Erfahrung," as youth and their parents discuss adolescents' lifestyles, driving, motor vehicles, and other issues pertaining to driving patterns. This is intended to provide insight into young drivers' rules of behavior and reasoning. Although much of the book concerns the daily life ("Lebenswelt") of young drivers through analysis of Erlebnis and Erfahrung, the results of a provincial questionnaire survey pertaining to teenagers and driving are also discussed. An essay on the "Anschauung" perspective analyzes the British Columbia Accident Data Base to determine the statistical profile of young drivers. A major recommendation is that traffic safety educators design their programs to emphasize the positive, socially responsible images young drivers have of themselves. 29 tables, chapter bibliographies, glossary.