Overestimation of Self-Reported Driving Exposure: Results from the SHRP2 Naturalistic Driving Study

The accuracy of self-reported driving exposure has questioned the validity of using self-reported mileage to inform research questions. Studies examining the accuracy of self-reported driving exposure compared to objective measures find low validity, with drivers overestimating and underestimating driving distance. The aims of the current study were to (1) examine the discrepancy between self-reported annual mileage and driving exposure the following year and (2) investigate whether these differences depended on age and annual mileage. Two estimates of drivers’ self-reported annual mileage collected during vehicle installation (obtained via prestudy questionnaires) and approximated annual mileage driven (based upon Global Positioning System data) were acquired from 3,323 participants who participated in the Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP2) Naturalistic Driving Study. A Wilcoxon signed rank test showed that there was a significant difference between self-reported and annual driving exposure during participation in SHRP 2, with the majority of self-reported responses overestimating annual mileage the following year, irrespective of whether an ordinal or ratio variable was examined. Over 15% of participants provided self-reported responses with over 100% deviation, which were exclusive to participants underestimating annual mileage. Further, deviations in reporting differed between participants who had low, medium, and high exposure, as well as between participants in different age groups. These findings indicate that although self-reported annual mileage is heavily relied on for research, such estimates of driving distance may be an overestimate of current or future mileage and can influence the validity of prior research that has utilized estimates of driving exposure.


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  • Accession Number: 01706063
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 18 2019 3:01PM