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Concept: Driving


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 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


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


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


Automated driving has the potential to improve the safety and efficiency of future traffic and to extend elderly peoples' driving life, provided it is perceived as comfortable and joyful and is accepted by drivers. Driving comfort could be enhanced by familiar automated driving styles based on drivers' manual driving styles. In a two-stage driving simulator study, effects of driving automation and driving style familiarity on driving comfort, enjoyment, and system acceptance were examined. Twenty younger and twenty older drivers performed a manual and four automated drives of different driving style familiarity. Acceptance, comfort, and enjoyment were assessed after driving with standardised questionnaires, discomfort during driving via handset control. Automation increased both age groups' comfort, but decreased younger drivers' enjoyment. Younger drivers showed higher comfort, enjoyment and acceptance with familiar automated driving styles, whereas older drivers preferred unfamiliar, automated driving styles tending to be faster than their age-affected manual driving styles. Practitioner Summary Automated driving needs to be comfortable and enjoyable to be accepted by drivers, which could be enhanced by driving style individualisation. This approach was evaluated in a two-stage driving simulator study for different age groups. Younger drivers preferred familiar driving styles, whereas older drivers preferred driving styles unaffected by age.

Concepts: Automation, Programmable logic controller, Driving, Comfort women, Age groups in Scouting and Guiding


Introduction The ‘Safety in Numbers’ (SiN) phenomenon refers to a decline of injury risk per time or distance exposed as use of a mode increases. It has been demonstrated for cycling using cross-sectional data, but little evidence exists as to whether the effect applies longitudinally -that is, whether changes in cycling levels correlate with changes in per-cyclist injury risks.Methods This paper examines cross-sectional and longitudinal SiN effects in 202 local authorities in Britain, using commuting data from 1991, 2001 and 2011 censuses plus police -recorded data on ‘killed and seriously injured’ (KSI) road traffic injuries. We modelled a log-linear relationship between number of injuries and number of cycle commuters. Second, we conducted longitudinal analysis to examine whether local authorities where commuter cycling increased became safer (and vice versa).Results The paper finds a cross-sectional SiN effect exists in the 1991, 2001 and 2011 censuses. The longitudinal analysis also found a SiN effect, that is, places where cycling increased were more likely to become safer than places where it had declined. Finally, these longitudinal results are placed in the context of changes in pedestrian, cyclist and motorist safety. While between 1991 and 2001 all modes saw declines in KSI risk (37% for pedestrians, 36% for cyclists and 27% for motor vehicle users), between 2001 and 2011 pedestrians and motorists saw even more substantial declines (41% and 49%), while risk for cyclists increased by 4%.Conclusion The SiN mechanism does seem to operate longitudinally as well as cross-sectionally. However, at a national level between 2001-11 it co-existed with an increase in cyclist injury risk both in absolute terms and in relation to other modes.

Concepts: Injury, Physical trauma, Traffic, Driving, Automobile, Pedestrian, Bicycle, Commuting


The aim of this study was to evaluate the visibility of cyclists for motorists in a simulated car driving task.

Concepts: Driving, Driver's license, Automobile


Previous functional neuroimaging studies have identified multiple brain areas associated with distinct aspects of car driving in simulated traffic environments. Few studies, however, have examined brain morphology associated with everyday car-driving experience in real traffic. Thus, the aim of the current study was to identify gray matter volume differences between drivers and non-drivers. We collected T1-weighted structural brain images from 73 healthy young adults (36 drivers and 37 non-drivers). We performed a whole-brain voxel-based morphometry analysis to examine between-group differences in regional gray matter volume. Compared with non-drivers, drivers showed significantly greater gray matter volume in the left cerebellar hemisphere, which has been associated with cognitive rather than motor functioning. In contrast, we found no brain areas with significantly greater gray matter volume in non-drivers compared with drivers. Our findings indicate that experience with everyday car driving in real traffic is associated with greater gray matter volume in the left cerebellar hemisphere. This brain area may be involved in abilities that are critical for driving a car, but are not commonly or frequently used during other daily activities.

Concepts: Brain, Neuroimaging, Cerebral cortex, Cultural studies, Area, Driving, Automobile, Broca's area


Equitation science is an evidence-based approach to horse training and riding that focuses on a thorough understanding of both equine ethology and learning theory. This combination leads to more effective horse training, but also plays a role in keeping horse riders and trainers safe around horses. Equitation science underpins ethical equitation, and recognises the limits of the horse’s cognitive and physical abilities. Equitation is an ancient practice that has benefited from a rich tradition that sees it flourishing in contemporary sporting pursuits. Despite its history, horse-riding is an activity for which neither horses nor humans evolved, and it brings with it significant risks to the safety of both species. This review outlines the reasons horses may behave in ways that endanger humans and how training choices can exacerbate this. It then discusses the recently introduced 10 Principles of Equitation Science and explains how following these principles can minimise horse-related risk to humans and enhance horse welfare.

Concepts: Horse, Theory, Driving, Equus, Equestrianism, Arabian horse, Horse training, Horse show


ABSTRACT. Objective: This article examines noncausal associations between high school seniors' alcohol and marijuana use status and rates of self-reported unsafe driving in the past 12 months. Method: Analyses used data from 72,053 students collected through annual surveys of nationally representative cross-sectional samples of U.S. 12th-grade students from 1976 to 2011. Two aspects of past-12-month alcohol and marijuana use were examined: (a) use frequency and (b) status as a nonuser, single substance user, concurrent user, or simultaneous user. Measures of past-12-month unsafe driving included any tickets/warnings or accidents, as well as tickets/warnings or accidents following alcohol or marijuana use. Analyses explored whether an individual’s substance use frequency and simultaneous use status had differential associations with their rate of unsafe driving. Results: Higher substance use frequency (primarily alcohol use frequency) was significantly and positively associated with unsafe driving. The rate of engaging in any unsafe driving was also significantly and positively associated with simultaneous use status, with the highest rate associated with simultaneous use, followed by concurrent use, followed by use of alcohol alone. Individuals who reported simultaneous use most or every time they used marijuana had the highest likelihood of reporting unsafe driving following either alcohol or marijuana use. Conclusions: This article expands the knowledge on individual risk factors associated with unsafe driving among teens. Efforts to educate U.S. high school students (especially substance users), parents, and individuals involved in prevention programming and driver’s education about the increased risks associated with various forms of drug use status may be useful. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 75, 378-389, 2014).

Concepts: Education, Drug addiction, High school, Individual, Driving, Driver's license, Driver's education, High School Musical