The National Academies

BTSCRP BTS-23 [Active]

Outcomes of Variability in Teen Driving Experience and Exposure: Evidence from the Naturalistic Driving Study

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Staff Responsibility: Richard Retting
Research Agency: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Principal Investigator: Charlie Klauer
Effective Date: 9/12/2022
Completion Date: 9/11/2024
Comments: Research underway


Teen novice drivers are well known to have higher crash rates than other age cohorts. A major safety question that lacks clarity and definitive scientific evidence is whether teen drivers who are exposed to greater diversity of traffic and road environments early in their driving careers have lower crash involvement than those who are exposed to less diversity. Ideally, this question would be addressed by analyzing how driving exposure, both the amount of driving (i.e., exposure) and driving conditions (i.e., road environment and geometry), changes when teens make the transition from supervised to unsupervised driving. Existing data collected for the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS) offer the opportunity to investigate this research question. While supervised driving data are not available in the SHRP2 NDS, it is possible to compare the diversity of experience in the early months of unsupervised driving with later months. This would allow for empirical examination of the association of exposure to greater diversity with crashes and near-crashes.


The objective of this research is to use the SHRP2 NDS data, and other potential naturalistic driving data sources, to evaluate how exposure to driving in more diverse traffic and road environments is associated with teen driver behavior, performance indicators that lead to crashes, and safety surrogate measures (e.g., near-crashes, speeding, observed distracted driving). The analysis will consider changes in driver behavior and subsequent crash risk. Based on the results of the analysis, the study will develop recommendations/strategies for improving teen driver safety.
The period of early exposure during unsupervised driving is the focus of the research. 

STATUS: Research underway.

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=5189