Measuring Changes in Teenage Driver Crash Characteristics During the Early Months of Driving

This study was conducted to determine how and why novice driver behavior changes during the first few years by examining month-to-month changes in various crash characteristics, as compared to the overall pattern of declining crash rates. North Carolina crash data from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2008 were searched to identify crashes involving any person who had obtained an intermediate license (allowing unsupervised driving) at age 16 or 17 (N = 629,144). All crashes that occurred within the first 36 months after a teen obtained a license (N = 256,975) were included in the analyses. Plots of crash rates per licensed driver for each of the first 36 months of licensing were created, to examine whether certain crash types or characteristics declined more or less quickly. Data were also summarized in several other ways to provide detailed information about how young novice driver crash patterns change during the initial years of driving. Briefly, it was found that the large majority of crashes involved two vehicles and occurred while the young person was driving a car, on a roadway with a moderate posted speed limit (35 – 54 mph). Crashes occurring when the young driver was making a left turn or entering a roadway from a parking lot or driveway, as well as those in which the young driver’s vehicle overturned, ran off the road to the right, or hit a tree, utility pole, or legally parked vehicle declined at a particularly rapid rate. Additionally, crashes in which the young driver failed to yield, overcorrected or made an improper turn declined quickly. Crashes in which the young driver hit, or was hit by, another vehicle from the rear and those in which the novice was following too close declined more slowly than crashes overall.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 53p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01356798
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 10 2011 2:40PM