Feeling Safe, Itching to Drive: Pre-Driver and Learner Perspectives on Driving and Learning

  • Published: Department for Transport, Road Safety Research Report, 2008, May
  • Authors: S Christmas
  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012
  • Last Update: 12 Jan 2018
  • Format: pdf


The current research was designed to extend the insights of this previous research (Christmas, 2007) and, in particular, to investigate the possible origins of, and influences on, the patterns identified in previous research.


The main phase of research consisted of nine qualitative workshops with groups of young people (85 in total), covering a range of different types of pre-driver and learner between the ages of 13 and 20. A further four workshops were with parents of some of the participants in these workshops (24 in total), along with three group interviews with ADIs (11 in total).

Participants were recruited to ensure a mix of gender, social class and ethnicity, as well as diversity on other key dimensions (such as previous experience on a motorbike or moped).

Workshops were held in five locations (Stockport, Yate, York environs, Leicester and Hounslow) in order to ensure a mix of rural and urban pre-drivers and learners.

Key Findings:

  • From this study, the author proposes a segmentation of young pre-drivers, learners and drivers, with the following ?ve segments:

    • rule observers, for whom good driving is about following rules and standards;

    • risk minimisers, for whom good driving is risk-free driving;

    • good neighbours, for whom good driving is sociable driving;

    • God’s gifts, for whom good driving is con?dent driving; and

    • nightmare drivers, for whom good driving is entirely irrelevant.