Vehicle Safety and Young Drivers Stages 2 and 3: Analysis of Young Driver Crash Types and Vehicle Choice Optimisation

The overall aim of this study was to examine the implications of young driver vehicle choice on secondary vehicle safety outcomes. This was achieved by identifying patterns in vehicle choice by driver age and sex (Stage 1), investigating the young driver crash profile (State 2), and developing and assessing scenarios for changing young driver vehicle choice to optimise road trauma outcomes (Stage 3). This report documents the outcomes of Stages 2 and 3. The results of Stage 2 indicate that young drivers are over-represented in crashes occurring at night, singe-vehicle crashes, crashes occurring in rural areas and crashes occurring on wet road surfaces. These crash types were more severe overall with the exception of crashes on wet roads. For Australian drivers aged 18-24 years old, crashes at night and single-vehicle crashes were more serious in comparison to drivers aged 25 or above. For New Zealand drivers, single-vehicle crashes involving young drivers were not more severe than single-vehicle crashes involving mature drivers. Vehicle profile analyses showed that the average crashworthiness of vehicles driven by young drivers remained the same across different crash types, including crashes occurring at different times of day. Stage 3 demonstrated that it is possible to reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities if the vehicle choices of young drivers move towards vehicles with high crashworthiness ratings. Three scenarios were assessed. Scenario 1 estimated the road trauma outcomes if all young drivers were driving the vehicle with the best crashworthiness ratings (Scenario 1a) or a vehicle with a crashworthiness rating equal to the average crashworthiness rating of the ten most-crashworthy vehicles (Scenario 1b). Scenario 2 estimated the road trauma outcomes if all young drivers were driving the most crashworthy vehicle within the same year of manufacture as the vehicle they crashed (Scenario 2a) or if all young drivers were driving the most crashworthy vehicle within the same year of manufacture and vehicle market group as their crashed vehicle (Scenario 2b). Scenario 3 estimated road trauma outcomes if all young drivers' vehicles were fitted with ESC. Scenario 1a was the most effective in terms of reducing serious injuries and fatalities among young drivers. Several recommendations are made regarding real-world applications.

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    Monash University

    Accident Research Centre
    Building 70
    Clayton, Victoria  Australia  3800

    Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

    GPO Box 594
    Canberra, ACT 2601  Australia 

    New Zealand Transport Agency

    Private Bag 6995
    Wellington 6141,   New Zealand 

    Vic Roads

    3 Prospect Hill Road
    Camberwell, Victoria 3124  Australia 
  • Authors:
    • Whelan, Michelle
    • Scully, Jim
    • Newstead, Stuart
  • Publication Date: 2009-11


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01149523
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0732623626
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 292
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 24 2010 2:35PM