AN EVALUATION OF CALIFORNIA'S DRIVERS LICENSING EXAMINATION

During two, two-week survey periods, data were collected on a total of 8,905 California drivers license applicants. The prupose was to assess the ability of the written and drive tests to screen out accident prone drivers. An additional purpose was to provide descriptive data on the licensing process. Only the written test appeared to have some predictive validity. Correlations between the number of items correctly answered on the applicant's first written test and the subsequent one year driving record variables ranged from 0.00 to -0.10 with eight of the twelve coefficients significant at p less than or equal to 0.05. Thus, better performance on the written test tended to be associated with fewer accidents and convictions. For the drive test the correlations between total score and subsequent driving record ranged from 0.06 to -0.03 with only one of the twelve coefficients significant at p less than or equal to 0.05. Females tended to do better on the written test, worse on the drive test, and have fewer accidents than males. Due to possible biases in the data and to the fact that the above correlations were based only upon those applicants who were licensed within six months subsequent to the survey date, these results should not be viewed as precise. However, they do appear to be consistent with other research. The percentage of applicants licensed within six months of the survey date (the normal expiration date for drivers license applications at that time) was 75%, 95%, and 91% for first time, out-of-state, and renewal applicants, respectively. Within two years of the survey date, the percentage licensed had increased to 95%, 99%, and 96%, respectively. Older renewal applicants performed worse on both the written and drive tests than those younger. There was no difference in the percentage ultimately screened out by the written test for different age groups. The drive test did apparently prevent a larger percentage of older applicants from getting their license renewed.

  • Corporate Authors:

    California Department of Transportation

    1120 N Street
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95814
  • Authors:
    • Dreyer, D R
  • Publication Date: 1976-3

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 31 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00139982
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: RR51
  • Files: TRIS, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 6 1976 12:00AM