Young female drivers improve more than males after ‘feedback’

A new study showed young women motorists had improved their skills more than male counterparts after receiving computerised feedback about their driving techniques.

The research, conducted by engineers at Trinity College Dublin, was carried out using what was described as the latest ‘black box’ technology.

The motorists, all aged between 17 and 22 and based north and south of the border, had their driving assessed over a four-month period.

A device was fitted to each participants’ car to collect information such as location, speed, acceleration and deceleration.

The drivers were then assessed based on the frequency and severity of dangerous driving incidents.

After three months the drivers were encouraged to view feedback on their driving so they could improve for the final few weeks of the research.

When presented with relevant feedback, the driving behaviour of young female motorists improved significantly more than that of young males.

A reported 80% of women drivers showed a change in their driving behaviour compared to 20% of men.

Dr Ciaran Simms, assistant professor in mechanical and manufacturing engineering at Trinity, said it was “an important step” in understanding how technology can be used to reduce road risk.

Meanwhile, Dr Bidisha Ghosh, assistant professor in civil engineering at Trinity, said the study “has the potential to help young drivers improve their driving behaviour”.

The 54-driver study was conducted in partnership with accident management company Crash Services. The goal was to assess the potential for using telematics technology to improve road safety among young and inexperienced drivers and is the first study of its type to be undertaken in Ireland.


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