Improving safety of teenage and young adult drivers in Kansas.
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Improving safety of teenage and young adult drivers in Kansas.

Filetype[PDF-1.70 MB]

  • English

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    • Abstract:
      Statistics show that young drivers have higher motor vehicle crash rates compared to other age groups. This study investigated

      characteristics, contributory causes, and factors which increase injury severity of young driver crashes in Kansas by comparing

      young drivers with more experienced drivers. Crash data were obtained from the Kansas Department of Transportation. Young

      drivers were divided into two groups: 15–19 years (teen) and 20–24 years (young adult) for a detailed investigation.

      Using data from 2006 to 2009, frequencies, percentages, and crash rates were calculated for each characteristic and

      contributory cause. Contingency table analysis and odds ratios (OR) analysis were carried out to identify overly represented factors

      of young-driver crashes as compared to experienced drivers. Young drivers were more likely to be involved in crashes due to

      failure to yield right-of-way, disregarding traffic signs/signals, turning, or lane changing when compared to experienced drivers.

      Ordered logistic regression models were developed to identify severity-affecting factors in young driver crashes. According to

      model results, factors that decreased injury severity of the driver were seat belt use, driving at low speeds, driving newer vehicles,

      and driving with an adult passenger. The models also showed that alcohol involvement, driving on high-posted-speed-limit

      roadways, ejection at the time of crash, and entrapment at the time of crash can increase young drivers’ injury severity.

      Based on identified critical factors, countermeasure ideas were suggested to improve the safety of young drivers. It is

      important for teen drivers and parents/guardians to gain better understanding of critical factors that are helpful in preventing

      crashes and minimizing driving risk. Parents/guardians should consider high-risk conditions such as driving during dark, during

      weekends, on rural roads, on wet road surfaces, and on roadways with high speed limits when planning teen driving. Protective

      devices, crash-worthy cars, and safe road infrastructures such as rumble strips and forgiving roadsides, particularly reduce young

      drivers’ risk. Predictable traffic situations and low complexity resulting from improved road infrastructure are beneficial to young

      drivers. The effectiveness of Kansas Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system needs to be investigated in the future.

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