In-vehicle monitoring & feedback for novice drivers and families

In-vehicle monitoring and feedback devices alert drivers with lights or sounds when they have high g-force events such as rapid acceleration, braking, or turning. Such devices can also capture other safety-related information such as speeding, seat belt use, or cell phone use. Families of novice, teenage drivers can review driving performance through reports, individualized summaries and tips, or video recordings (Simons-Morton 2012, Farah 2013*). Seat belt use reduces injury (IIHS-Seat belts); speeding has been shown to increase the likelihood and severity of crashes (IIHS-Speed).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes (Rated)

  • Increased driving safety

Other Potential Beneficial Outcomes

  • Reduced crashes

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is some evidence that immediate in-vehicle driving feedback for novice teenage drivers paired with delayed feedback for their families reduces speeding and high g-force events such as sudden acceleration, braking, and turning (Simons-Morton 2012, Farah 2013*). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects on driving behavior and determine effects on crash rates.

Speeding alerts that allow drivers who quickly correct their behavior to avoid parental notification can reduce speeding. In some circumstances, devices that buzz until drivers fasten their seat belt or report unbelted driving to a website available to family members can improve seat belt compliance (Farmer 2010b*).

Immediate feedback paired with videos of high g-force events and driving report cards sent to families appear to reduce the frequency of g-force events (Simons-Morton 2012, McGehee 2007*, Carney 2010*), while immediate feedback for drivers without reports for families may not (Simons-Morton 2012). Such paired interventions may teach drivers to scan for and react to hazards, which may reduce abrupt braking even after in-vehicle feedback ends (Carney 2010*, McGehee 2007*).

Additional counseling to help parents restrict or allow driving based on driving performance may reduce g-force events more than driving reports alone (Farah 2013*). Effects can also be stronger for drivers with high rates of g-force events before using such devices (Carney 2010*, Musicant 2010*, McGehee 2007*). High-risk drivers, however, may only reduce rapid turning and acceleration during the parental monitoring period (Carney 2010*).

Impact on Disparities

No impact on disparities likely

Implementation Examples

In-vehicle monitoring and feedback technology is available through private vendors, car insurance companies, and smart phone applications, and is built into some cars (Kowalski 2013, MN DOT-Donath 2011, Russo 2013).

Implementation Resources

IIHS-Parents - Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), When parents are watching. Status Report (Arlington). 2009;44(5).

DriveCam - DriveCam. Delivering insights. Driving results.

Citations - Evidence

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

Simons-Morton 2012 - Simons-Morton BG, Bingham CR, Ouimet MC, et al. The effect on teenage risky driving of feedback from a safety monitoring system: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2013;53(1):21–6.

Farah 2013* - Farah H, Musicant O, Shimshoni Y, et al. The first year of driving: Can an in-vehicle data recorder and parental involvement make it safer? Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 2013;2327:26–33.

Farmer 2010b* - Farmer CM, Kirley BB, McCartt AT. Effects of in-vehicle monitoring on the driving behavior of teenagers. Journal of Safety Research. 2010;41(1):39–45.

McGehee 2007* - McGehee DV, Raby M, Carney C, Lee JD, Reyes ML. Extending parental mentoring using an event-triggered video intervention in rural teen drivers. Journal of Safety Research. 2007;38(2):215–27.

Carney 2010* - Carney C, McGehee D V, Lee JD, Reyes ML, Raby M. Using an event-triggered video intervention system to expand the supervised learning of newly licensed adolescent drivers. American Journal of Public Health. 2010;100(6):1101–6.

Musicant 2010* - Musicant O, Lampel L. When technology tells novice drivers how to drive. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 2010;2182:8–15.

Citations - Implementation Examples

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

Kowalski 2013 - Kowalski M, O’Donnell J. Apps, etc. remotely monitor teen drivers. USA Today. 2013.

MN DOT-Donath 2011 - Donath M, Creaser J, Gorjestani A, Manser M. Usability evaluation of a smart phone-based novice teen driver support system (TDSS). Minneapolis: Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute, University of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN DOT); 2011.

Russo 2013 - Russo F. Hit the brakes! GPS Mom is watching. Time. 2013.

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