Teenage driver support systems employ behavioral modification functions to assist the teenage driver in adopting safer driving behaviors. This study deployed a smartphone-based Teen Driver Support System (TDSS) that provided in-vehicle notifications to newly-licensed teenage drivers as well as sent (via text message) notifications to parents about detected risky driving behaviors (e.g., speeding, excessive maneuvers, seat belt no use). The application also blocked calling, texting and other phone applications to prevent phone-related distracted driving. This study evaluated the effectiveness of in-vehicle notifications combined with parent reporting functions to in-vehicle notifications alone in reducing certain risky driving behaviors among teenagers. Driving behavior data were collected from a control group (N=92) that engaged in naturalistic driving and two intervention groups: an in-vehicle only feedback group (partial TDSS, i.e. no feedback to the parent; N=92) and an in-vehicle feedback group in which parents also received system reports (full TDSS functionality; N=90). The results indicated an overall benefit of the full TDSS with parental feedback in significantly reducing the frequency of some risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, that are correlated with novice teenage driver crashes. In-vehicle feedback alone was less effective at reducing risky driving behaviors, indicating that parental feedback is a critical component of such systems. The cellular phone blocking functions worked effectively to reduce calling and texting in both treatment groups. The outcomes of this study indicated that monitoring applications that combine feedback and forcing functions are useful at reducing risky driving behaviors in novice teenage drivers primarily when combined with parental feedback.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2015. Major: Human Factors/Ergonomics. Advisor: Michael Manser. 1 computer file (PDF); 307 pages.
Effectiveness of a Smartphone-based Driver Support System for Reducing the Frequency of Risky Driving Behaviors in Novice Teenage Drivers.
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