Traffic safety and step-by-step driving licence for young people

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Young novice car drivers are much more accident-prone than other drivers - up to 10 times that of their parents' generation. A central solution to improve the traffic safety for this group is implementation of a step-by-step driving licence. A number of countries have introduced a step-by-step driving licence for young drivers within the last decades. The Danish Government has also decided to introduce it for a three-year trial. The Danish trial added an opportunity to the traditional driving licence education to drive together with an experienced driver from 17 to 18 years old. This paper presents a review of safety effects from step-by-step driving licence schemes. Most of the investigated schemes consist of a step-by-step driving licence with Step 1) various tests and education, Step 2) a period where driving is only allowed together with an experienced driver and Step 3) driving without companion is allowed but with various restrictions and, in some cases, additional driving education and tests. In general, a step-by-step driving licence improves traffic safety even though the young people are permitted to drive a car earlier on. The effects from driving with an experienced driver vary with effects of up to 40% reduced accident risk, but there is a markedly reduced effect, the older the novice drivers are when they initiate the driving education. In some cases, step 3 is found to reduce accident risk with up to 61%. As the Danish trial includes an additional step 2, and only drivers from 17 to 18 years old and with the overall significantly positive safety development in the last years, it is reasonable to assume that we can reach a safety effect of 10 to 15% among the young novice drivers from the introduction of the Danish step-by-step driving licence.
Translated title of the contributionUnges trafiksikkerhed fra trinvist kørekort
Original languageEnglish
JournalTransactions on Transport Sciences
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)3-10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Traffic Safety
  • Step-by-step driving licence
  • Novice drivers
  • Driving education

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