Pre-driver Theatre & Workshop Education Research (PdTWER)

About this project

Project Background

Newly qualified young drivers are at a high-risk of death or serious injury within the first year of passing their driving test. Pre-driver education is currently delivered throughout the UK, which seeks to reduce the risks experienced by young and novice drivers. This research is being conducted in response to interest from deliverers and the wider road safety community in the UK in understanding how best to deliver interventions that contribute towards safer driving amongst younger drivers.

Project Purpose

The purpose of this research is to find out the best way to use pre-driver theatre and workshop education to support young and novice driver safety.

Project aim and approach

The aim of this study is to evaluate whether the content and format of pre-driver theatre and workshop interventions can help pre-drivers to develop effective strategies for coping with road related risk.

The project is working with several Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) in the UK over a 3.5 year period to investigate and test the effectiveness of different approaches and content for pre-driver education.

The research will compare, typically testimonial based interventions, against research based alternatives, to determine the most effective way to proceed with delivering theatre and workshop interventions to improve young driver safety.

The study will be delivered as a cluster randomised controlled trial. The research is being designed and evaluated by Elizabeth Box, Head of Research, RAC Foundation & PhD Research Student, Cranfield University. Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service are supporting the delivery of the trial.

Project Timescales

The project started in September 2019 and is taking place across a 3.5 year period, concluding in February 2023. Piloting and trial work is taking place between June 2021 and March 2022.

Project partners & funding

The RAC Foundation, National Fire Chiefs Council, Kent FRS and Road Safety GB are jointly funding the research work being conducted across the 3.5 year study period.

The project has been successful in securing grant funding from the Department for Transport (£100,000) and The Road Safety Trust (£28,000) to support the ground level delivery of the piloting and trial work.

Trial registry

The trial is registered with the ISRCTN. Trial no: ISRCTN71350920 https://doi.org/10.1186/ISRCTN71350920

Latest project updates

June 2021

Elizabeth Box talks about levelling up Road Safety education in an article for the recently published Young Driver Focus 21 report:

May 2021

Elizabeth Box talks to Brake, the Road Safety Charity about young driver safety as part of their Time to Zero In podcast series.

December 2020

An editorial on the Safety of Young Drivers authored by Ian Greenwood (ITS, University of Leeds), Elizabeth Box (RAC Foundation), Dr Shaun Helman (TRL) and Dr Sarah Jones (Cardiff University) has been published by the BMJ.

November 2020

Elizabeth Box provides an outline of the three year Pre-driver Theatre & Workshop Education Research (PdTWER) Programme and interim project findings during her Keynote presentation at the Road Safety GB Festival of Road Safety 2020.

September 2020

Elizabeth Box provides oral evidence to the Transport Select Committee Inquiry on Young and Novice Drivers

For more information

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Updated: 19 May 2021