Impulsive personality is an important predictor of risky driving. Acknowledging their impulsive tendencies may help novice drivers to drive more safely. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a novel brief intervention targeting novice drivers' risky behavior in traffic, taking into account potential moderator effects. Driving school students (n=1866) were divided into an intervention group and a control group. The intervention consisted of a lecture and group work (1.5h). Subjects' traffic offenses and crashes were monitored during the following year using police and traffic insurance fund databases. The groups were similar in their baseline characteristics. The intervention group had half as many speeding violations in the year following the intervention compared with the controls. The proportion of speeders was significantly lower in the intervention group compared with the control group in subgroups of subjects with medium cognitive abilities and low or medium BIS-11 impulsiveness levels. In alpha(2A)-adrenoceptor gene (ADRA2A) G allele carriers, general traffic risk and speeding decreased in response to the intervention, unlike in subjects with the CC genotype. It is concluded that brief interventions that are integrated into the driving education program and focus on personal psychological risk factors may be effective for improving traffic safety.
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