Adolescent Risk Research Unit - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Adolescent Risk Research Unit

USC’s Adolescent Risk Research Unit (ARRU) aims to understand the nature of adolescent risk, and to improve the health and wellbeing of all adolescents.

Led by Dr Bridie Scott-Parker, the ARRU’s research is guided by cutting-edge methodologies and evidence-based practice in the areas of road safety, mental health and social influence.

Young learner driver taking a lesson
Road safety projects
Our research explores learning to drive, situation awareness, driver emotions and vulnerable road user behaviour
Students on the lawn
Health and wellbeing projects
Our research explores sleep, mental health, post traumatic stress disorder and risky adolescent behaviours
USCAR field trip
Research students

ARRU places considerable emphasis on research training through our postgraduate study program.

Fatality Free Friday
Research partners

ARRU has a strong focus on connecting with the community, working with many partners who play a role in adolescent health and wellbeing.


The ARRU specialises in research on young and novice driver safety.

Around the world, young and novice drivers are disproportionately represented in road crash injuries and fatalities. Dr Bridie Scott-Parker is an expert in adolescent road safety, with a particular focus on the development of the driver from the pre-licence period, through the Learner and Provisional 1 driving phases. She is also interested in adolescent risk taking, and the impacts of personal, social (parents and peers) and structural (legislation and police) influences upon risky behaviour.

Other areas of research focus include adolescent health and wellbeing more generally, including teen mental health, social influences, and interactions with authorities such as police.

Consortium of Adolescent Road Safety

Based at ARRU, the Consortium of Adolescent Road Safety (CADROSA) was launched in 2014 to provide an innovative approach to improving adolescent road safety on a global level. For more information visit the CADROSA website.


Advanced driver training is often suggested as a solution to the young driver problem, however, research published in RACV's The Effectiveness of Driver Training/Education as a Road Safety Measure (PDF 321KB) 2016 edition demonstrates that road safety benefits are unlikely, and indeed there are instances in which crash risk increases after training.

To improve young driver safety, young drivers need to drive safe cars. The ARRU’s Vehicle safety features guide (PDF 301KB)* offers guidelines and advice on where to access vehicle safety information.

Graduated driver licensing (GDL) conditions and restrictions can vary widely within motorised jurisdictions. We have tabulated the conditions and restrictions relevant for GDL programs in place in Australia and New Zealand. Download the GDL conditions and restrictions (PDF 106KB).

Download ARRU's Road Safety Tips for:


'Young driver road safety: An innovative approach to a persistent problem'.

Dr Bridie Scott-Parker’s presentation to the Australian Academy of Science, Canberra 2014.

‘“Don’t crash!” “Shut up or I will!” — Experiences of young drivers and their advice for the Learner licence phase’

Watch Dr Bride Scott-Parker's presentation on Mediasite.

Community Engagement

ARRU holds a free yearly seminar at USC for the public can attend and learn about the latest research in road safety. International guest speakers provide insight into their latest research. To register visit the USC Events page.

Dr Bridie Scott-Parker participates in presentations at schools and industry specific seminars both nationally and internationally.

Do you want to connect?

ARRU works with schools, community organisations, police and transport bodies including:

  • The Australian Driver Trainers Association - Queensland
  • Blue Datto
  • Local Schools

If you would like Dr Bridie to present at an event, you can submit your request via the Contact Us page.

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Do you want to connect?

Work with us to make our roads a safer place to be.

If you would like Dr Bridie to speak at your organisation or event on road safety, want to be contacted regarding upcoming research projects, or would like more information on what we do, complete the below form:

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