The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. In 2016, 2,433 teens ages 16-19 in the United States died and nearly 300,000 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. Furthermore, per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16-19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.
The recently completed Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP2) Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS) offers a robust database of 3,100 study participants ages 16-98, recruited from six regions in the United States, and each participant was studied for a period of up to 2 years. Vehicles were instrumented with a data acquisition system that included accelerometers, cameras, GPS, forward radar, and vehicle network connections. Almost 500 drivers aged 16-19 (and over 650 drivers aged 20-24) were studied. The NDS offers an opportunity to conduct in-depth analyses of teen driver behavior, with known roadway characteristics, weather, and time of day.
The objective of this research was to develop a research agenda for teen driver behavioral safety countermeasures using the SHRP2 NDS data.
The research included a scoping study of the NDS to detail its usefulness in studying teen driving behavior, and addressed the following:
1. Evaluate strengths and limitations of the NDS database to address critical research questions in teen driver behavioral safety;
2. Provide a full description of the NDS data elements, expertise, methodologies, and resources necessary to address teen driver research questions using NDS data;
3. Specify other types of data sources that could be linked to the NDS data to address these research questions;
4. Identify potential countermeasures that could result from analyses of these research questions using NDS data; and
5. For each countermeasure, develop one or more research problem statements that describe how specific NDS data could be used to investigate and implement the countermeasure. Together, these problem statements will form a research agenda for teen driver behavioral countermeasures.