Age vs. Experience: Evaluation of a Video Feedback Intervention for Newly Licensed Teen Drivers
This project examines the effects of age, experience, and video-based feedback on the rate and type of safety-relevant events captured on video event recorders in the vehicles of three groups of newly licensed young drivers: 1. 14.5- to 15.5-year-old drivers who hold a minor school license (see Appendix A for the provisions of the Iowa code governing minor school licenses); 2. 16-year-old drivers with an intermediate license who are driving unsupervised for the first time; 3. 16-year-old drivers with an intermediate license who previously drove unsupervised for at least four months with a school license. METHODS: The young drivers’ vehicles were equipped with an event-triggered video recording device for 24 weeks. Half of the participants received feedback regarding their driving, and the other half received no feedback at all and served as a control group. The number of safety-relevant events per 1,000 miles (i.e., “event rate”) was analyzed for 90 participants who completed the study. RESULTS: On average, the young drivers who received the video-based intervention had significantly lower event rates than those in the control group. This finding was true for all three groups. An effect of experience was seen for drivers in the control group; the 16-year-olds with driving experience had significantly lower event rates than the 16-year-olds without experience. When the intervention concluded, an increase in event rate was seen for the school license holders, but not for either group of 16-year-old drivers. There is strong evidence that giving young drivers video-based feedback, regardless of their age or level of driving experience, is effective in reducing the rate of safety-relevant events relative to a control group who do not receive feedback. Specific comparisons with regard to age and experience indicated that the age of the driver did not have an effect on the rate of safety-events, while experience did. Young drivers with six months or more of additional experience behind the wheel had nearly half as many safety-relevant events as those without that experience.