Since 1996 twenty-four states have enacted graduated driver licensing systems to reduce motor vehicle crashes among young novice drivers. All these programs include a restriction on nighttime driving by individuals in the second stage of the 3-stage licensing system. However, the hours covered by these restrictions vary greatly and for the most part are not based on empirical data about teen crash risk. Most restrictions begin at midnight. To obtain an exposure-based estimate the risk of a crash by time of night, we conducted telephone interviews with a representative sample of 15, 16 and 17 year-old teens (n=858) in North Carolina to determine the number and timing of their trips as drivers. This information was combined with NC crash data to estimate the crash likelihood at each hour of the day. Although the most common crash time for 16 & 17 year-old drivers is mid-afternoon, the risk of fatal/injury crashes varies little until 10 p.m., at which time it begins to increase. This increased risk, especially when combined with the relatively large number of 16 & 17 year-old driver trips that occur between 10 p.m. and midnight (vs. after midnight), suggests that 10 p.m. is a more appropriate time than midnight to begin a nighttime driving restriction for young beginning drivers in graduated licensing systems.
Learning Objectives: 1. Describe how teen driver crashes vary by time of day 2. Identify the highest risk driving times for young drivers
Keywords: Motor Vehicles, Youth
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA