Improving the Effectiveness of Countermeasures to Prevent Motor Vehicle Crashes among Young Drivers

Bruce G. Simons-Morton, Jessica Lauren Hartos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are the leading cause of injury and death among adolescents 16 to 19 years of age. Three areas of countermeasures for decreasing young driver risk are driver education, licensing policies, and parental management. Driver education is an essential part of teaching adolescents the rules of the road and operating a vehicle; however, it has not proven to prevent MVCs among young drivers. Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is a policy innovation accepted widely in the U. S. that delays licensure and restricts driving among novices under the most dangerous conditions. GDL programs have effectively reduced motor vehicle crashes where adopted; however, adoption and effectiveness of these policies vary. Parental management of teen driving has not been systematically studied until recently and may be an important part of reducing teen driving risk. Research indicates that parents place modest restrictions on their teens' driving and that restrictions are related to fewer risky driving behaviors, tickets, and MVCs. The Checkpoints Program aims to increase parental management of teen driving and has been shown to do so in short-term follow-ups in several randomized trials. Each countermeasure is important to teen safety and may need improvements; however, the greatest protection against MVCs among young drivers would be to provide better integration among, and wider implementation of, countermeasures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S57-S61
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Education
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003


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