Home Skip to main content

Research Projects (2009-10)

Identifying Number


Project Title

Using ND Traffic Records to Identify Higher Risk Teen Drivers


North Dakota State University

Project Investigator

Kimberly Vachal, Don Malchose

Description of Project Abstract

Teen drivers have a relatively high risk for injury and death from traffic crashes. Teens account for about 4 percent of North Dakota's driver population and 10 percent of the injury crashes (NDDOT 2008). Pursuant of public safety goals, the ND Department of Transportation is considering possibilities for identifying and intervening with teens at greatest risk for crash involvement, especially during the most dangerous initial 6-months of licensure. The state's driver records offer a potential resource for identifying higher-risk teen drivers. Previous research has shown driver crash and citation information can be used as crash predictors (Chandraratna et. al 2006, Elliott et. al 2001). These crash risk markers, or predictors, may be used as in a preventative intervention such as a letter to parents suggesting additional training or education for their young driver (Barnie 1997).

Project Objectives

The goal of this project is to assess potential to use driver and crash record information to identify teen drivers who are at higher risk for crashes. An initial step in this project will be developing programs to manage and analyze the ND driver records. Additional programming will be required to establish an ongoing driver history that uses 'living' driver records in conjunction with crash records. The resulting research application will concentrate on risk markers for the first six months to one year, as this has been identified as the most dangerous for teen drivers in terms of crash incidence (Mayhew et. al 2003, Williams 2003).

Project Approach/Methods

Descriptive analysis and regression modeling will used to assess citation and crash involvement as predictors for driver involvement in future single vehicle and at-fault multicar crashes.

MPC Critical Issues Addressed by the Research

2. Human Factors.

Contributions/Potential Applications of Research

This research will contribute to an ongoing effort to utilize existing data in new ways to improve traffic safety. Results will add to the understanding of crash risk related to the driver record history. Findings from this research will be used by the NDDOT on a decision to move forward with an experiment to test intervene with higher risk teens.

Technology Transfer Activities

Research report with descriptive analysis and model identifying factors that may be used to identify teen drivers at greatest risk for future crash.

Time Duration

July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010

Total Project Cost


MPC Funds Requested


TRB Keywords

Safety, Safe Driving


  • Jones, Barnie, 1997, Age, Gender and the Effectiveness of High-Threat Letters: An Analysis of Oregon's Driver Improvement Advisory Letters, Accident Analysis and Injury Prevention, 29(2): 225-234.
  • Elliot, Michael, Patricia Waller, Trivellore Raghunathan, and Jean Shope, 2001, Predicting Offenses and Crashes from Young Drivers' Offense and Crash Histories, Journal of Crash Prevention and Injury Control, 2(3): 167-178
  • Mayhew, Daniel, Herbert Simpson, and Anita Pak, 2003, Changes in collision rates among novice drivers during the first months of driving. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 35:683-91.
  • North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT), 2008, 2007 Crash Summary, Office of Traffic Safety, Bismarck.
  • Williams Allen, 2003, Teenage Drivers: Patterns of Risk, Journal of Safety Research, 34:5-15.
NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050