Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Driver's license


Insufficient sleep is common among high school students and has been associated with an increased risk for motor vehicle crashes (1), sports injuries (2), and occupational injuries (3). To evaluate the association between self-reported sleep duration on an average school night and several injury-related risk behaviors (infrequent bicycle helmet use, infrequent seatbelt use, riding with a driver who had been drinking, drinking and driving, and texting while driving) among U.S. high school students, CDC analyzed data from 50,370 high school students (grades 9-12) who participated in the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBSs) in 2007, 2009, 2011, or 2013. The likelihood of each of the five risk behaviors was significantly higher for students who reported sleeping ā‰¤7 hours on an average school night; infrequent seatbelt use, riding with a drinking driver, and drinking and driving were also more likely for students who reported sleeping ā‰„10 hours compared with 9 hours on an average school night. Although insufficient sleep directly contributes to injury risk, some of the increased risk associated with insufficient sleep might be caused by engaging in injury-related risk behaviors. Intervention efforts aimed at these behaviors might help reduce injuries resulting from sleepiness, as well as provide opportunities for increasing awareness of the importance of sleep.

Concepts: Sleep, Injuries, High school, Somnolence, Driver's license, Automobile, Helmet, Remove Intoxicated Drivers


In a simulation experiment we studied the effects of cognitive, emotional, sensorimotor, and mixed stressors on driver arousal and performance with respect to (wrt) baseline. In a sample of nā€‰=ā€‰59 drivers, balanced in terms of age and gender, we found that all stressors incurred significant increases in mean sympathetic arousal accompanied by significant increases in mean absolute steering. The latter, translated to significantly larger range of lane departures only in the case of sensorimotor and mixed stressors, indicating more dangerous driving wrt baseline. In the case of cognitive or emotional stressors, often a smaller range of lane departures was observed, indicating safer driving wrt baseline. This paradox suggests an effective coping mechanism at work, which compensates erroneous reactions precipitated by cognitive or emotional conflict. This mechanisms' grip slips, however, when the feedback loop is intermittently severed by sensorimotor distractions. Interestingly, mixed stressors did not affect crash rates in startling events, suggesting that the coping mechanism’s compensation time scale is above the range of neurophysiological latency.

Concepts: Psychology, Effect, Neuroscience, Feedback, Sympathetic nervous system, Emotion, Norepinephrine, Driver's license


Fatal crash risk is higher at night for all drivers, but especially for young, inexperienced drivers (1). To help address the increased crash risk for beginner teen drivers, 49 states and the District of Columbia include a night driving restriction (NDR) in their Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system. NDRs have been shown to reduce crashes among newly licensed teens, with higher reductions associated with NDRs starting at 10:00 p.m. or earlier (2-3). However, in 23 states and the District of Columbia, NDRs begin at 12:00 a.m. or later, times when most teen drivers subject to GDL are not driving. CDC analyzed 2009-2014 national and state-level data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) to determine the proportion of drivers aged 16 or 17 years involved in fatal crashes who crashed at night (9:00 p.m.-5:59 a.m.) and the proportion of these drivers who crashed before 12:00 a.m. Nationwide, among 6,104 drivers aged 16 or 17 years involved in fatal crashes during 2009-2014, 1,865 (31%) were involved in night crashes. Among drivers involved in night crashes, 1,054 (57%) crashed before 12:00 a.m. State-level analyses revealed an approximately twofold variation among states in both the proportions of drivers aged 16 or 17 years involved in fatal crashes that occurred at night and the proportions of night fatal crash involvements that occurred before 12:00 a.m. Because nearly all of the night driving trips taken by drivers aged 16 or 17 years end before 12:00 a.m., NDRs beginning at 12:00 a.m. or later provide minimal protection. States could consider updating their NDR coverage to include earlier nighttime hours. This descriptive report summarizes the characteristics of NDRs, estimates the extent to which drivers aged 16 or 17 years drive at night, and describes their involvement in fatal nighttime crashes during 2009-2014. The effects of NDRs on crashes were not evaluated because of the small state-level sample sizes during the 6-year study period.

Concepts: Washington, D.C., Driving, Driver's license, Driver's education


The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of mild hypohydration on performance during a prolonged, monotonous driving task.

Concepts: Present, Time, Driver's license


This study aimed to investigate how singing while driving affects driver performance. Twenty-one participants completed three trials of a simulated drive concurrently while performing a peripheral detection task (PDT); each trial was conducted either without music, with participants listening to music, or with participants singing along to music. It was hypothesised that driving performance and PDT response times would be impaired, and that driver subjective workload ratings would be higher, when participants were singing to music compared to when there was no music or when participants were listening to music. As expected, singing while driving was rated as more mentally demanding, and resulted in slower and more variable speeds, than driving without music. Listening to music was associated with the slowest speeds overall, and fewer lane excursions than the no music condition. Interestingly, both music conditions were associated with slower speed-adjusted PDT response times and significantly less deviation within the lane than was driving without music. Collectively, results suggest that singing while driving alters driving performance and impairs hazard perception while at the same time increasing subjective mental workload. However, singing while driving does not appear to affect driving performance more than simply listening to music. Further, drivers' efforts to compensate for the increased mental workload associated with singing and listening to music by slowing down appear to be insufficient, as evidenced by relative increases in PDT response times in these two conditions compared to baseline.

Concepts: Affect, Simulation, Performance, Music, Performing arts, Driver's license


The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of exposure to others' drink driving during adolescence on self-reported driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in young adulthood. Data were drawn from 1956 participants with a driving license enrolled in the International Youth Development Study from Victoria, Australia. During 2003 and 2004, adolescents in Grades 7, 9 and 10 (aged 12-17) completed questionnaires examining whether they had ridden in a vehicle with a driver who had been drinking, as well as other demographic, individual, peer and family risk factors for DUI. In 2010, the same participants (aged 18-24) then reported on their own DUI behaviour. 18% of young adults with a driving license reported DUI in the past 12 months. Exposure to others' drink driving during adolescence was associated with an increased likelihood of DUI as a young adult (OR=2.13, 95% CI 1.68-2.69). This association remained after accounting for the effects of other potential confounding factors from the individual, peer and family domains (OR=1.62, 95% CI 1.23-2.13). Observing the drink driving behaviours of others during adolescence may increase the likelihood of DUI as a young adult. Strategies to reduce youth exposure to drink driving are warranted.

Concepts: Adolescence, Youth, Alcoholic beverage, Driving under the influence, Adult, Driver's license, Young adult


OBJECTIVE: Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) has been implemented in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA and Israel. We conducted an exploratory summary of available data to estimate whether GDL effects varied with age. METHODS: We searched MEDLINE and other sources from 1991-2011. GDL evaluation studies with crashes resulting in injuries or deaths were eligible. They had to provide age-specific incidence rate ratios with CI or information for calculating these quantities. We included studies from individual states or provinces, but excluded national studies. We examined rates based on person-years, not license-years. RESULTS: Of 1397 papers, 144 were screened by abstract and 47 were reviewed. Twelve studies from 11 US states and one Canadian province were selected for meta-analysis for age 16, eight were selected for age 17, and four for age 18. Adjusted rate ratios were pooled using random effects models. The pooled adjusted rate ratios for the association of GDL presence with crash rates was 0.78 (95% CI 0.72 to 0.84) for age 16 years, 0.94 (95% CI 0.93 to 0.96) for 17 and 1.00 (95% CI 0.95 to 1.04) for 18. The difference between these three rate ratios was statistically significant: p<0.001. CONCLUSIONS: GDL policies were associated with a 22% reduction in crash rates among 16-year-old drivers, but only a 6% reduction for 17-year-old drivers. GDL showed no association with crashes among 18-year-old drivers. Because we had few studies to summarise, particularly for older adolescents, our findings should be considered exploratory.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Statistics, Mathematics, Rates, Provinces and territories of Canada, Driving, Crash, Driver's license


BACKGROUND: The purpose of the study was to compare the monocular Humphrey Visual Field (HVF) with the binocular Humphrey Esterman Visual Field (HEVF) for determining whether subjects suffering from glaucoma fulfill the new medical requirements for possession of a Swedish driver’s license. METHODS: HVF SITA Fast 24-2 full threshold (monocularly) and HEVF (binocularly) tests were performed consecutively on the same day on 40 subjects with glaucomatous damage of varying degrees in both eyes. Assessment of results was constituted as either “passing” or “failing” score, according to the new medical requirements put into effect September 1, 2010 by the Swedish Transport Agency. RESULTS: Forty subjects were recruited and participated in the study. Sixteen subjects passed both tests, and sixteen subjects failed both tests. Eight subjects passed the HEFV but failed the HVF. There was a significant difference between HEVF and HVF (chi2, p=0.004). There were no subjects who passed the HVF, but failed the HEVF. CONCLUSIONS: The monocular visual field test (HVF) gave more specific information about the location and depth of the defects, and therefore is the overwhelming method of choice for use in diagnostics. The binocular visual field test (HEVF) seems not be as efficient as the HVF in finding visual field defects in glaucoma patients, and is therefore of doubtful use in evaluating visual capabilities in traffic situations.

Concepts: Eye, Ophthalmology, Depth perception, Binocular vision, Visual field, Driver's license, Driver's education, Visual field test


The accurate evaluation of crash causal factors can provide fundamental information for effective transportation policy, vehicle design, and driver education. Naturalistic driving (ND) data collected with multiple onboard video cameras and sensors provide a unique opportunity to evaluate risk factors during the seconds leading up to a crash. This paper uses a National Academy of Sciences-sponsored ND dataset comprising 905 injurious and property damage crash events, the magnitude of which allows the first direct analysis (to our knowledge) of causal factors using crashes only. The results show that crash causation has shifted dramatically in recent years, with driver-related factors (i.e., error, impairment, fatigue, and distraction) present in almost 90% of crashes. The results also definitively show that distraction is detrimental to driver safety, with handheld electronic devices having high use rates and risk.

Concepts: Data, Electronics, Driving, Crash, Driver's license, Driver's education, Camera, Crashing


Poor driving self-assessment skills (e.g., over-confidence) have been pointed out as an important explanatory factor behind young drivers' accident involvement. This paper explores (1) what young drivers miss in their training as drivers in order to analyze whether an assessment of one’s own driving skills plays an important role in their desire to improve as drivers, and (2) how these training interests are related to an estimate of their self-assessment skills concerning risky driving behavior. For this purpose, a study was conducted using a survey with a blocked sampling design of novice drivers. The survey solicited respondents' self-report about (1) the contents of training courses that they feel would improve their driving, (2) their risky driving behavior, and (3) their likelihood of being involved in a risky driving situation. From the initial sample invited to participate, of nearly 1300 people, we finally obtained complete data from 321 young Spanish drivers. Two main results were apparent from our data analysis: (1) the novice drivers were mainly interested in improving their ability to recognize their strengths and weaknesses as drivers (i.e., self-assessment skills); (2) a significant relationship was found between novice drivers' interests and their current self-assessment skills concerning risky driving behavior. Specifically, there was greater general interest expressed in post-license training by the under-confident self-assessors than the over-confident ones. These results provide a relevant input which should be taken into account when designing driver training programs for novice drivers. Moreover, the relationship between their training interests and their risky driving self-assessment skills introduces an additional factor to be considered in the implementation of these training programs.

Concepts: Sampling, Skill, Design, Driving, Driver's license, Driver's education, Device driver, Desire to Improve