Is it time to apply a harm reduction approach to young driver education?

Teresa Senserrick*, Oscar Oviedo-Trespalacios, Catherine McDonald

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Youth education on risky behaviours, such as alcohol and drug use, has long moved beyond a ‘just say no’ abstinence-only approach. While emphasising that abstinence is safest, guidance is extended to harm reduction approaches, advocating safer ways to engage in the behaviour should the risk occur. In contrast, youth road safety education generally remains abstinence-only (e.g., don't speed, don't use your phone while driving). This manuscript presents arguments in support of the premise that is time to explore applications of harm reduction approaches to young driver education. While acknowledging this is not without risk, without further debate and research there is no evidence base to determine the true potential of road safety education to contribute to reductions in road trauma.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101263
JournalJournal of Transport and Health
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioural strategy
  • Driver education
  • Harm reduction
  • Risk behaviour
  • Risk cluster
  • Young driver


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