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Younger Drivers

photo of a woman driving and talking on a cell phone

See also:

Curbing Teen Driver Crashes: An In-Depth Look at State Novice Driver Initiatives
Governors Highway Safety Association, October 2012
Looks in detail at how states are addressing teen driver safety in the areas of legislation, enforcement, engagement, and education.

Young Drivers’ Road Risk and Rurality (PDF)
Road Safety Analysis, 2012
Explores the crash risks of young drivers in rural areas.

Protecting Teen Drivers: A Guidebook for State Highway Safety Offices
Governors Highway Safety Association, 2010
This guide examines six strategies SHSOs can champion that have been proven to be effective or demonstrated significant promise in addressing teen driver safety: legislation/policy, enforcement, parental programs, education, peer education, and general strategies.

Teens and Distracted Driving (PDF)
Pew Research Center, 2009
This report provides statistics related to young drivers and distracted driving.

Young Impaired Drivers
Transportation Research Board, 2009
Transportation Research Circular E-C132
Overview of the information presented and discussions among the participants at a June 3-4, 2008, workshop that explored the risks posed by young impaired drivers and how these risks might be ameliorated.

Parent-Teen Safe Driving Page
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008

Generational Perspective on Teen and Older Drivers on Traffic Safety in Rural and Urban Communities
Minnesota Department of Transportation, 2008
Mn/DOT 2008-36

Effectiveness of Oregon's Teen Licensing Program (PDF)
Oregon Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 2008
FHWA-OR-RD-08-12
Significant changes in Oregon's teen licensing laws went into effect on March 1, 2000. The new laws expanded the provisional driving license program which had been in effect since October 1989 and established a graduated driver licensing (GDL) program for all drivers under age 18. The program is intended to reduce fatal and injury crashes among teen drivers and to promote safe driving. This report provides background information, summarizes the key findings of two reports and present conclusions and recommendations based on the results. The results indicate that Oregon's graduated driver license program has safety benefits and it should be continued.

M-CASTL 2008 Synthesis Report: Volume 2, Teen Driver Safety (PDF)
University of Michigan, 2008
M-CASTL-2008-02
Teen drivers have the highest crash rates of any age-group of drivers, with the possible exception of the very oldest drivers. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among teens. Not only are teen drivers more likely to be involved in crashes, they are also more likely than any age-group of drivers to carry passengers more often and in larger numbers. As a result, crash-related injury and death among teens occurs most often to teenage passengers of teen drivers. Many factors contribute to the high crash risk of teen drivers. The purpose of this report is to review these factors and provide a synopsis of current knowledge and understanding of teen driver safety.

Short-Term Effects of a Teenage Driver Cell Phone Restriction (PDF)
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2008
On December 1, 2006, North Carolina began prohibiting use of any mobile communication device by drivers younger than 18. The current study examined the effects of the law on teenage drivers' cell phone use. Although the proportion of teenagers who reported using phones while driving declined somewhat following the law, about half admitted they used their phones, if they had driven, on the day prior to the interview. Overall, the findings suggest that North Carolina's cell phone restriction had little to no effect on teenage drivers' use of cell phones shortly after the law took effect.

Braking Behavior at Rural Expressway Intersections for Younger, Middle-Aged, and Older Drivers (PDF)
University of Iowa, 2007
High speed expressway intersections can be problematic for drivers of all ages. The purpose of this study is to evaluate driver performance at a high crash rate rural expressway intersection for three age groups: older (65 to 80), younger (18 to 25), and middle-aged drivers (35 to 55). This study reports preliminary findings associated with 30 drivers (ten drivers in each age group) who participated in an instrumented vehicle study.

Passenger Restrictions in Graduated Driver Licensing Programs (PDF)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2007
Traffic Safety Facts - Traffic Tech No. 337
There is greatly increased crash risk when teenage drivers transport passengers, and the more passengers, the greater the risk. Risk increases with one, two, or three or more passengers, such that when there are multiple passengers in the vehicle, crash risk is 3 to 5 times greater than when driving alone. NHTSA contracted with Preusser Research Group (PRG) to evaluate the passenger restriction components of several graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws on safe driving practices, and teen crashes and fatalities. PRG also assessed compliance with and enforcement of the passenger restriction of a GDL law among teen drivers, parents of teen drivers, and law enforcement personnel.

Zero Blood Alcohol Concentration Limits for Drivers under 21: Lessons from Canada (PDF)
BMJ Publishing Group, 2008
Injury Prevention Vol. 14 No. 2
Graduated licensing programs (GLPs) typically require that young drivers that are subject to the program maintain a zero or low blood alcohol concentration (BAC) while driving. Although GLPs have proven to be an effective way to improve traffic safety, a major drawback of such programs, at least in Canada, is that the BAC restriction is lifted on completion of the GLP, which typically occurs around the age of 18 or 19. This corresponds to the legal drinking age in Canada, a time when alcohol consumption and rates of binge drinking increase. It is not surprising, then, that 18-20 year-old drivers are dramatically overrepresented in alcohol-related deaths and injuries. In jurisdictions like Canada that are unlikely to raise the legal drinking age, other measures are necessary to separate drinking from driving among 18-20 year-olds. This article recommends that the zero BAC restrictions be extended beyond the completion of the GLP, until drivers reach the age of 21.

Crash Risk among Teen Drivers: Identification and Prediction of Excess Risk (PDF)
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, 2007
UMTRI-2007-13
This study used school-based survey data from 6,870 students, and Michigan State Police crash records and Michigan Secretary of State driver history records to identify crash types for which teen drivers are at excess risk, and to examine psychosocial and behavioral factors that predicted the crash types. Rates and rate ratios were used in combination to identify the crash types that represent the most serious threat to teen drivers, relative to adults.

Traffic Safety Facts 2006 Data: Young Drivers (PDF)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008
DOT HS 810 817
Contains statistics on young drivers and their involvement in fatal crashes in 2006.

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