Dr Bridie Scott-Parker

Adolescent Risk, Traffic and Transport Psychology
University of the Sunshine Coast

Far too many young drivers and their passengers are killed in car crashes. Much of the research in to this area has been haphazard, and is plagued by methodological difficulties, contributing to ineffective intervention in young driver road safety. Dr Scott-Parker’s research uses a holistic approach: considering young driver road safety to arise from more than the behaviour and attitudes of young drivers; rather it emerges from a complex constellation of factors surrounding the young person.

In addition, she considers the young driver as an adolescent, in a risky time for psychosocial developmental purposes, and she is investigating the potential for ‘safe risk’ activities outside of the vehicle also contributing to young driver road safety. Finally, behaviours are not considered discretely; risk in one domain is likely to impact on other domains, with her research identifying that youth experiencing psychological distress (anxiety, depression) are at greater risk on the road.

Bridie’s work is very closely linked to the community and as such she takes many opportunities to share her research. She is a member of the Northcoast Interagency Working Group, partnering with local authorities to bring a scientific approach to improving the road safety of Queensland’s worst-performing region. She is also an for injury blogs and newsletters as well as a columnist for the RACQ “Road Ahead” magazine.