Do Real-time and Post Hoc Feedback Reduce Teen Drivers' Engagement in Secondary Tasks?


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National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence


In 2020, 2,800 teens in the United States between the ages of 13 and 19 were killed in motor vehicle crashes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023). The purpose of this study is to assess if there is an additional benefit to the driver feedback system implemented in the Driver Coach Study (Klauer et al., 2017) on secondary task reduction and if the same trends of parental involvement are observed. The data used in this study were drawn from two previously completed naturalistic driving studies involving teenage drivers. The Driver Coach Study recruited 90 teen-parent dyads and presented the teen driver with feedback on their driving performance for the first 6 months (Klauer et al., 2017). Parents were able to review a website that provided information on the feedback that their teen received. The Driver Coach Study data were compared to the Supervised Practice Driving Study, which observed 88 teenage drivers during naturalistic driving in the same geographic location who did not receive feedback. Novice driver secondary task engagement was recorded. Parental involvement was examined by tracking which teen/parent groups checked the website and which did not. Results suggest that teen drivers who received feedback were overall less likely to engage in secondary tasks as well as less likely to multitask than those teen drivers who did not receive feedback. Additionally, females generally engaged in secondary tasks more often than males. Teen drivers whose parents logged in to the feedback website also reduced their engagement in some secondary tasks but not all. Unfortunately, no significant reduction in cell phone use was observed between teen drivers who received feedback and those who did not. Overall, the results suggest that further research should be conducted, as monitoring and feedback for teen drivers does reduce overall secondary task engagement.



transportation safety, naturalistic driving study, teen driving safety, driver monitoring and feedback