Video and non-video feedback interventions for teen drivers.

Video and non-video feedback interventions for teen drivers.

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  • Abstract:
    In-vehicle feedback technologies, including some that use video, help parents monitor and mentor their young drivers. While different feedback technologies have been shown to reduce some risky driving behaviors, teens and parents cite privacy concerns as deterrents to using them, especially when the technologies use video. This study evaluated two similar technology-based interventions, one with video feedback and one without, to determine to what extent they reduced unsafe driving behaviors in newly licensed teen drivers relative to (a) a baseline period, and (b) a control group. Whether the video intervention produced a significantly different effect than the non-video intervention was also evaluated. The study enrolled two diverse cohorts of teen drivers: 32 from a rural site and 28 from a suburban site. Each was randomly assigned to the video feedback, the non-video feedback, or the control condition. A video event recorder installed in each teen’s vehicle for 20 weeks recorded a 12-second video when the vehicle’s lateral or longitudinal acceleration exceeded ±0.50g. All teens initially drove without feedback during a 4-week baseline segment. In the subsequent 16-week intervention phase, teens assigned to the intervention conditions received feedback. The number of unsafe driving events per 1,000 miles driven (event rate) for the intervention conditions significantly decreased over time and was 66% lower at the end of the study relative to the baseline segment. The event rate for the control condition did not change significantly over time and was about six times greater than the intervention condition. Event rates for the video and non-video feedback groups did not differ significantly. Both interventions reduced unsafe driving behaviors to a similar degree for two diverse groups of newly licensed teen drivers. One limitation of this study is that although feedback in the non-video condition did not contain any video-based information, the teens were aware that they were being video recorded. Future research should compare these findings to a feedback device that does not employ any video cameras.
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