THE SHORT-TERM EFFECTIVENESS OF WRITTEN DRIVER KNOWLEDGE TESTS

The state, proposed to conduct a study of the efficiency of knowledge testing as an accident/conviction reduction countermeasure. The test subjects comprised four groups of drivers: a control group receiving no treatment, a group that received only a driver's manual, a group that received a manual and a test to be completed at home, and a group that received a manual and were requested to take a test in the examining station at the time of application for license renewal. Comparisons between groups were made of accidents, major convictions, minor convictions, accidents with an associated conviction, and administrative actions taken as a result of points accumulated under the Driver Improvement Program. For the two groups administered a knowledge test, comparisons involved those who passed, failed, or refused to take the test. The study findings are to be presented in two reports. This report covers the first six months of driving exposure for each applicant and deals with the short-term effects of the program. A second report, to be prepared at the end of two year's driving exposure, will deal with long-term effects. The short-term findings of the study can be summarized under two broad categories: comparisons where statistical differences were not proven to exist; and comparisons where a statistical difference between groups did exist. The comparisons within each of these categories are: the control group compared to an experimental group two experimental groups compared to each other, and when performance on a knowledge test are compared. Of the 135 comparisons carried out, there were no statistical differences which reached significance, p plus minus 0.05, in 125 of them. Of the 10 comparisons in which a statistical differences was found, 7 involved applicants who refused to take the home test. In each case their driving records were worse than the records of those in the group to which they were compared. These findings for applicants refusing to take the home test do not provide state licensing officials with meaningful data for the implementation of a knowledge retesting program. In addition, 2 of the other 3 comparisons where a significant difference was found involve accident with conviction data where the sample size is very small and thus limits the practical effects of the statistical results. Because of the number and nature of the categories that were different, it is concluded that knowledge testing does not improve short-term driving performances as measured in terms of accidents, convictions, and administrative actions. /Author/

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council

    Charlottesville, VA  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Stoke, C B
  • Publication Date: 1978-4

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 56 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00184885
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: VHTRC 78-R51
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 3 1979 12:00AM