Myths and Misconceptions About the Young Driver Problem and its Solutions

Thursday, February 8, 2007 - 3:00pm

About the Event

There’s good reason to worry when teens start to drive. Newly licensed drivers have an extremely high rate of crashes—a rate that decreases rapidly for about six months and then declines much more slowly for a number of years, well into the twenties. Conventional wisdom has it that the high rate of crashes is due to the behavior of a minority of risk-taking youth, about which little can be done. However, studies indicate that the young driver problem is due to the vast majority of novice teens who engage in driving behavior that places them and others at risk, particularly under certain driving conditions.

Bruce Simons-Morton will discuss the young driver problem at the CTS Winter Luncheon, to be held February 8 in Minneapolis. He is the chief of the Prevention Research Branch in the Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health. He will present the substantial and growing evidence that it is possible to alter this pattern of risk through effective policy and behavioral interventions.


Speaker(s)

Bruce Simons-MortonNational Institutes of Health

Bruce Simons-Morton is chief of the Prevention Research Branch in the Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, where he directs a program of research on child and adolescent health behavior.  He is the author of more than 100 scientific papers, three books, and 20 book chapters.  Simons-Morton’s research on teen driving includes both observational studies of teen driving risks and intervention studies evaluating interventions to prevent motor vehicle crashes among novice teenagers.  Currently, Simons-Morton is directing the 40-Car Study, in which teen driving performance will be assessed over an 18-month period using a variety of electronic instruments installed in their vehicles.  On the intervention side, Simons-Morton’s group is evaluating the relative effectiveness of the Checkpoints Program on parent management of novice teen drivers when implemented at the time of permit, at the time of licensure, and at both permit and licensure.