Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 7-10 July 2014 "Leading Transport into the Future", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
Across the world novice drivers are over-represented in crashes. The first eighteen months after licensure appear to be the most dangerous as the newly licensed driver comes to terms with his or her newly acquired skills. With practice, skills such as scanning behaviour and handling of the vehicle improve significantly. This study used Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS) methodology to investigate novice driver behaviour in South Africa. Data acquisition systems were installed in two participant groups (pairs) vehicles. Participant groups were a combination of a parent and novice driver. Both participant pairs drove around with the data acquisition systems for approximately three months. A large amount of data was collected, not only from the drivers but from the vehicles and the environment as well. The paper provides an overview of the research process and methodology followed and will highlight key findings relating to the novice driver hazard perception skills. Although this study is not representative (as only four people participated), the findings indicate that this type of study, used on a larger scale, could provide important baseline data for novice drivers. This could, in turn, be used to tailor and improve current driver training practices in South Africa.