Identifying Factors That Predict Teen Driver Crashes

Reducing crashes, in particular those that result in injury or fatality, is an ongoing struggle for agencies tasked with making our roads safer. The ability to predict these crashes would allow the agencies to develop interventions to change drivers’ behavior and ultimately reduce the number of these crashes. Teen drivers are ideally suited for this type of intervention for several reasons. They are disproportionately over-represented in crashes – teens account for only 4% of the driver population but account for 10% of crashes (Vachal and Malchose, 2009). Also, many teen crashes occur within the first year of being licensed and are the result of a lack of driving experience. Lastly, the learning curve is still steep at this point in teens’ driving history which makes them more susceptible to interventions. In an attempt to predict these crashes, North Dakota driver licensing data and crash data were used to develop a sample of 20,392 teen drivers age 14 to 17. Within the first year after being licensed, these drivers sustained 317 crashes that resulted in an injury or death. The resulting logistic regression model identifies gender, traffic convictions, rural/urban, geography, and involvement in previous property-damage-only (PDO) crashes as markers that are significant in predicting these injury and fatal crashes. According to the model, living in an urban area increases risk of being in an injury or fatal crash within the first year after attaining a license by 2.5 times compared to drivers who live in rural areas. Drivers involved in a previous PDO crash are 25 times more likely to be involved in an injury or fatal crash than those not involved in a previous PDO crash. These results can be used in a driver improvement program. One application may be an advisory or warning letter targeted to teen drivers suggesting additional training or guidance for those who exhibit the above markers. Hopefully, this letter will alter their behavior and reduce their likelihood of being involved in an injury or fatal crash.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 29p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01342236
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MPC Report No. 11-232
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 21 2011 9:28AM