Hazard Perception and Distracted Driving Training Intervention for Teens

While driver fatalities among drivers age 15 to 20 declined by just over half between 2005 and 2014, young drivers are still over-represented in fatal crashes. Multiple factors contribute to the elevated crash rates of novice drives, including risk taking, inexperience, and distraction. One crash factor linked with inexperience is the failure to recognize and appropriately react to roadway hazards. Studies that evaluated various iterations of a computer-based training program have shown it is possible to improve the accuracy with which novice drivers recognize hazards. NHTSA’s 2016 study “Evaluation of the safety benefits of the risk awareness and perception training program for novice teen drivers” (DOT HS 812 235) explored the effects of the training (RAPT) on crash and traffic violation data for over 5,000 newly licensed teen drivers in California. Findings showed that RAPT-trained male participants had a crash rate 24% lower than that of male participants in the comparison group. The goal of the current study is to replicate the California RAPT study with a version of RAPT that combines the California version and a more interactive, realistic version (sRAPT), such that participants complete California RAPT, receive feedback on their performance, then complete sRAPT, and again receive feedback after completing the second training. A second group of participant shall complete placebo training of duration similar to that required by the treatment group. Although RAPT shows promise in reducing crashes among young male drivers, the effect among male participants was unexpected large based on earlier studies, and it is not clear why the benefits did not extend to female drivers. The results of this study will useful for forming recommendations regarding the role of RAPT in future novice driver training.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $666,208
    • Contract Numbers:



    • Sponsor Organizations:

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, D.C.  United States  20590

      Governors Highway Safety Association

      444 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 722
      Washington, DC  United States  20001

      Office of Behavioral Safety Research

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, District of Columbia  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Watson, Christine

    • Performing Organizations:

      Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF)

      Ottowa, Ontario  Canada 
    • Principal Investigators:

      Watson, Christine

    • Start Date: 20170808
    • Expected Completion Date: 20241231
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
    • Subprogram: Novice Driver Safety

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01653858
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    • Contract Numbers: DTNH2216D00020, DTNH2217F00046A
    • Files: RIP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Dec 18 2017 4:45PM