Is driver education contributing towards road safety? a systematic review of systematic reviews
Keywords:Driving education, Road safety, Overview of systematic reviews
Background: There is a vast amount of literature on the effects of driver education. However, the evidence has become somewhat fragmented, making it challenging to understand driver education's effectiveness for improving road safety. The current study aimed to provide the efficacy of pre-LDE and post-LDE interventions aimed at improving the safety of drivers (includes crashes, injuries, or secondary outcomes).
Methods: The following online databases were searched up to the 21st of February 2020: Web of Science (WOS), Scopus, PubMed, Cochrane library, and other relevant databases. Systematic reviews (SR) and meta-analyses were selected to investigate the efficacy of driving education in reducing crashes, injuries, or secondary outcomes. Two investigators independently conducted the data extraction and used the assessment of multiple systematic reviews (AMSTAR) tool to conduct a quality assessment of each SR identified.
Results: Out of the 229 potential articles, seven SRs were eligible for the current overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. This overview showed that pre-and post-license education by people of all ages led to improvements in secondary outcomes, such as performance, self-perceived driving abilities, behind-the-wheel driving performance, and even a small decrease in traffic offenses. However, education was not effective in reducing crashes or injuries, either at the individual or community level.
Conclusion: There was no evidence that driver education is an effective approach to reducing crashes or injuries. This negative result might be due to ineffective teaching methods. To improve road safety, it appears necessary to change the method or content of driving education since the current approaches to driving education do not reduce traffic crashes or injuries.
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