Statement of Purpose Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of adolescent death and disability. Risky driving behaviors are associated with adolescent motor vehicle crashes. We report on initial data for risky driving behaviors in adolescent drivers using a smartphone application.
Methods/Approach Prospective data was collected using Way to Drive, a novel research smartphone application developed by TrueMotion-Cambridge Mobile Telematics and managed by University of Pennsylvania. Adolescent licensed Pennsylvania drivers aged 16–18 years downloaded Way to Drive. For this analysis, we used the first six weeks of data to describe trip-level variations in metrics passively collected by the app: trip duration and length, nighttime driving (11pm-5am), hard braking events, speeding, and handheld phone use while driving.
Results The 18 adolescent drivers were mean age of 17.4 years (50% male; 89% white), with a mean licensure length of 9.6 months. They recorded 1370 unique trips, totaling 8,247 miles and 344.8 hours. Adolescents drove a mean of 76.1 trips at 6.0 miles/trip and 15.1 minutes/trip. There was little nighttime driving (1.6% of trips). Hard braking occurred in 35.7% of trips. Speeding occurred in 41.5% of trips (mean duration of 1.3 minutes speeding). Handheld phone use was detected in 24.6% of trips (mean duration of 2.3 minutes). Handheld phone use while driving >25mph occurred in 18.8% of trips (mean duration of 2.1 minutes), and handheld phone use while speeding occurred in 4.5% of trips (mean duration of 1.1 minutes). Nighttime handheld phone was detected in <0.2% of trips.
Conclusions Way to Drive gives insight into normally difficult to measure teen driving behaviors. Variations in risky driving behaviors in this sample highlight key intervention opportunities for motor vehicle crash prevention.
Significance This tool can provide a novel, scalable approach for remotely conducting epidemiologic data collection and testing real-time behavioral interventions.
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