The Good, the Bad and the Talented: Young drivers’ Perspectives on Good Driving and Learning to Drive

  • Published: Department for Transport, Road Safety Research Report No. 74 2007
  • Authors: S Christmas
  • Date Added: 09 Apr 2012
  • Last Update: 28 Mar 2013
  • Format: pdf


The impact of young people’s attitudes and mindsets on their driving, and the possible implications for interventions to improve road safety were investigated.


Six groups of young people (55 in total) took part in two two-hour workshops, involving a range of exercises (e.g. character-profiling exercises, image exercises). Insights from the first series of workshops were used as the basis for the design of the second series, enabling us to ask questions of the young people that were based on what they had already told us about their experiences and perceptions of driving.

Key Findings:

Participants defined being a good driver as the mastery of three different and parallel kinds of activity.

  • Driving as a physical activity is about safely controlling and guiding a physical object through a complex physical environment.

  • Driving as a social activity is about operating in a shared space in a way that ensures everyone is kept happy, and in a way that builds and maintains a desired image of oneself as a driver.

  • Driving as an emotional activity is about preserving an appropriate frame of mind to drive well in the face of distractions and annoyances