Driver Training and Road Safety Education

Last updated: 21/12/2016

Boys on the road

It makes sense to have special attention to young men’s behavior on the road, where they are involved in twice as many accidents as girls. This is connected to both their energy, self-regulation, impulse-management, their slower and more irregular maturation (compared with most girls) as well as their socialization, the examples they get from adults and the media.
Sometimes the road seems an easy free space for expressing their urge for showing off, establishing identity, gaining a feeling of being master of their situation that they do not find at home, at school of in their work, or obtaining the arousal they are looking for. They risk their own life and that of others. The classical ways in which they obtain their driving license do not address these risk factors. In the Netherlands, boys can have their driving license after 30 lessons in which they train for the test, instead of learning from their own behavior. “As soon as the most at-risk boys have their license, the cap on their head moves 180 degrees and they face the risk of running into a tree, another car, et cetera.” This can change and has to change. The texts and links below illustrate the ways in which we can offer a better education in which, through coaching, aspiring drivers develop their skills from their own experiences behind the wheel, learn to assess the situations they are in and to take their responsibilities on the road.

  • The EU HERMES project on coaching in Driver Education (web link)
    Hermes = High impact approach for Enhancing Road safety through More Effective Communication Skills for driving instructors. HERMES is a European project (2007-2010) in which experts from ten European countries have collaborated in developing new and more effective methods for driver education.

The full output of this project is freely available in German and English via this link (DVD, Manual, Scenarios etc.). In many countries, like Austria, Finland, England and Germany, this new method has been adopted in several driving schools. Coaching following HERMES principles differs sharply from the often used buzz-word ‘coaching’ in top sport and competitive business. Rather, coaching is a learner-centered method that engages body, emotions and mind to create inner and outer awareness and responsibility with an equal relationship between the learner and the coach.

  • Self-regulation in traffic and psycho-physical education (by Lauk Woltring).
    Paper delivered at the 4th International Conference on Driving Behaviour and Training, November 24-25, 2009, Amsterdam. As of 2016, I still regard this as my most comprehensive piece in English on Driver Education, as it includes the basics for what later resulted in the HERMES project.)
  • A definition of Coaching for Driving (by John Whitmore)
    A basic paper written in October 2008 by John Whitmore for the EU HERMES project (developing new ways in driver training) and for the EU Expert Group on Driver Education and Road Safety of DG TREN (Brussels); Learning & Education Processes in Learning to Drive: a background paper (1/10/2008 ) for the EU Expert Group on Driver Education
  • A Safe Driver is a Learning Driver (by Lauk Woltring).
    Handout of a presentation given on the 3rd International Conference on Driving Behavior and Training, November 12-13, 2007, Dublin. Some fundamental concepts about:
  • Motivations, self-concept, self-awareness and learning behavior of young males in traffic
  • Gender sensitivity in driver education
  • Learning to obey or learning to learn…? (after all, driver education is just a first step in a driving career…)

.       Addressing Risk Taking Behavior of Young Males in Traffic. Some notes on the Australian Novice Driver Education Trial. (by Lauk Woltring)
In 2015, I worked for some time for the Australian Traffic & Security Bureau in Canberra. An elaborated version of a paper originally written for ATSB in July 2005 and updated in early 2007, in this text I develop my notions on coaching in driver education. If quoted, please mention source and website (  ) WJ6 144 paper.draft 7 / 28-2-2007

.      Boys Traffic and Risk-taking (by Lauk Woltring)
Paper for the 4th Biennial Conference ‘Working with Boys, Building Fine Men’ From Practice to Practice Melbourne, Australia 3-5 April ’05. If copying, please mention the source and site.

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