Scientists at Melbourne’s Monash University are developing an online test designed to detect risky young drivers before they hit the road.
The ‘Driving Risk in Young People’ research program aims to develop a reliable screening tool that can identify young drivers who have an increased crash risk.
School of Psychological Sciences Professor Julie Stout told News Limited researchers assessed the cognitive, developmental and psychological risk profiles of young participants in the study, focusing on their motor impulsivity, emotion regulation and decision making.
Stout said preliminary test results had been encouraging.
“Our initial findings suggest that our online screening tool can identify those young people who also drive more recklessly,” she said.
She said motor impulsivity had proved to be the closest and most reliable link to risky driving behaviour.
The next phase of the study will monitor the actual driving habits of young people to more thoroughly test the reliability of the online screening tool.
If proven reliable and introduced, the test could identify risky drivers and recommend specific training before letting them loose on the road.
Stout believes current road safety programs help make safe drivers safer but are less effective in improving the safety of risky motorists.