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Behaviors and Attitudes - NHTSA studies behaviors and attitudes in highway safety, focusing on drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. We identify and measure behaviors involved in crashes or associated with injuries, and develop and refine countermeasures to deter unsafe behaviors and promote safe alternatives.

Latest Reports  

  • Evaluation of the Safety Benefits of the Risk Awareness and Perception Training Program for Novice Teen Drivers (DOT HS 812 235)  
    This project evaluated the impact of the Risk Awareness and Perception Training (RAPT) program on young driver crashes and traffic violations. A total of 5,251 young drivers 16 to 18 years old were recruited after passing on-road driving exams at six California DMV licensing offices. They were assigned to a group who completed the RAPT program or a comparison group who received pre-tests but did not receive any training. Their crash and violation records were tracked for 12 months post-licensure. Analyses showed substantial improvements in trainee performance. Crash analyses did not show an overall main effect for treatment, but there was a significant treatment by sex interaction effect. Analyses were then conducted for males and females separately to explore this interaction. The results showed a significant treatment effect for males but not for females. RAPT-trained males showed an approximately 23.7% lower crash rate relative to the male comparison group. For females, the RAPT group had an estimated 10.7% higher crash rate than the comparison group, but this increase was not statistically significant.
  • Automated Feedback to Foster Safe Driving in Young Drivers: Phase 2 (DOT HS 812 230)  
    This project evaluated the effect of accelerator pedal feedback to reduce speeding over the posted speed limit. GPS coordinates and speed limits were linked to a mechanical device that introduced feedback to the accelerator pedal when drivers exceeded speed limits. The feedback could be overridden by pressing harder on the accelerator pedal. In addition to measuring the effect of the technology on speeding, the researchers also measured driver acceptance of and mental workload experienced from the system. Results showed the pedal feedback led to less speeding and somewhat increased driver workload. Driver acceptance of the technology was mixed.
  • School Start Times and Teenage Driver Motor Vehicle Crashes  
    This project conducted an in-depth longitudinal analysis of the relationship between changes in school start times and teen crashes. An intervention time series analysis was applied to data collected from two jurisdictions that changed to substantially later high school start times, Forsyth County, North Carolina, and Fayette County, Kentucky. Surrounding counties with no changes in school start times were included as controls. The study concluded that there was moderate evidence that the change in school start times in Forsyth County had a beneficial effect in reducing teen crashes, but there was no corresponding evidence for Fayette County.
Studies and Reports

U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
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