Effectiveness of Teenage Driver Support System (TDSS) on Reducing Traffic Violation Behaviors for Teenage Drivers at the Early Time of Licensure

Principal Investigator:

Nichole Morris, Research Associate, Mechanical Engineering

Project Summary:

Teenage drivers are at a disproportionate risk of fatal and serious injuries due to motor vehicle crashes. Because of inexperience and the risk-seeking propensity, novice teenage drivers are often more prone to demonstrate risky driving behaviors such as speeding and harsh maneuvers, especially during the first few months of licensure. In an effort to reduce risky driving among novice teenage drivers, a cohort of approximately 300 drivers (Mean age=16) was recruited and monitored over a 12-month period after licensure to collect real-time driving performance data using the Teen Driver Support System (TDSS), a project funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (DOT). Preliminary analysis of the TDSS project also suggests that approximately 10 percent of these drivers reported involvement in a crash, traffic citation, and/or ticket during the study period within each of the three experimental groups (i.e., control, interface-only, and interface plus parents). However, whether and to what extent the TDSS affected these traffic violation and risky driving outcomes, during and after the treatment period, are yet to be known. Therefore, this investigation focuses on 1) collecting information on these drivers' self-reported driving behaviors, driving attitudes, sensation-seeking and perceived risks in a cross-sectional approach; and 2) collecting the traffic violation and crash outcomes from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety since they were recruited into the TDSS project. The outcome of the study is expected to better inform the long-term effectiveness of an in-vehicle support system as well as promote future implementations to a broader range of driver populations.

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