THE YOUNG DRIVER FOLLOW-UP STUDY: AN EVALUATION OF THE ROLE OF HUMAN FACTORS IN THE FIRST FOUR YEARS OF DRIVING

THE SAMPLE CONSISTED OF 13,915 PERSONS WHO WERE 16 OR 17 YEARS OF AGE WHEN LICENSED IN FIVE CALIFORNIA COUNTIES IN 1962-1963. THE STUDY DESCRIBED THE DRIVING RECORD OF THE SAMPLE DURING THEIR FIRST FOUR YEARS OF DRIVING, AND CORRELATED THEIR DRIVING RECORD WITH OTHER BIOGRAPHICAL DATA. DATA WAS COLLECTED ON BIOGRAPHICAL FACTORS, ATTITUDES, DRIVING BEHAVIOR, SELF-DESCRIPTION VIA AN ADJECTIVE LIST, AND A PERSONALITY TEST. THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS SHOWED LITTLE CHANGE IN THE FIRST FOUR YEARS OF DRIVING. THIS RESULT DOES NOT PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR INCREASING THE LICENSING AGE TO 18. THE ACCIDENT RATE ADJUSTED FOR MILEAGE DECREASED WITH INCREASING EXPERIENCE. CONVICTION RATES (ADJUSTED FOR MILEAGE) EITHER INCREASED OR SHOWED NO CHANGE ACROSS YEARS. CONSIDERABLE CHANGES WERE FOUND IN ACCIDENT CHARACTERISTICS WITH INCREASING EXPERIENCE. SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION OF LICENSES WAS NOT VERY EFFECTIVE IN KEEPING DRIVERS OFF THE ROAD. CITIZENSHIP GRADE IN HIGH SCHOOL WAS THE BEST PREDICTOR OF ACCIDENTS AND CONVICTIONS. GENERALLY, MORE SOCIALLY DESIRABLE PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES WERE ASSOCIATED WITH BETTER DRIVING RECORD. THE OVERALL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ACCIDENT FREQUENCY AND BIOGRAPHICAL DATA WAS TOO LOW TO PERMIT ACCURATE IDENTIFICATION OF "ACCIDENT PRONE" DRIVERS PRIOR TO LICENSING. CONVICTIONS WERE PREDICTABLE TO A MODERATELY HIGH DEGREE FROM BIOGRAPHICAL DATA. FOR THOSE WITH FATAL AND INJURY ACCIDENTS, THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ACCIDENTS WERE NOT PREDICTIVE OF THE NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS AND CONVICTIONS. AN OPTIMAL POINT SYSTEM FOR TYPES OF VIOLATIONS WAS BETTER THAN NUMBER OF CONVICTIONS FOR PREDICTING FUTURE ACCIDENTS. THOSE TAKING BEHIND-THE-WHEEL DRIVER TRAINING HAD BETTER DRIVING RECORDS, AND MORE SOCIALLY DESIRABLE PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS THAN THOSE NOT TAKING THE COURSE, INDICATING VOLUNTEER BIAS. TAKING THESE PERSONAL DIFFERENCES INTO ACCOUNT, DRIVER TRAINING APPEARED TO REDUCE FATAL AND INJURY ACCIDENTS FOR FEMALES, BUT HAD LITTLE IF ANY EFFECT ON MALE ACCIDENTS. CLASSROOM DRIVER EDUCATION APPEARED TO REDUCE FATAL AND INJURY ACCIDENTS FOR FEMALES, BUT HAD LITTLE IF ANY EFFECT ON MALE ACCIDENTS. THESE FINDINGS ARE NOT TOTALLY CONCLUSIVE DUE TO METHODOLOGICAL LIMITATIONS.

  • Corporate Authors:

    California Department of Motor Vehicles

    P.O. Box 11828, 2415 1st Avenue
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95813
  • Authors:
    • Harrington, D M
  • Publication Date: 1972

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 50 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00224167
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Nat Safety Council Safety Res Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 30 1973 12:00AM