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Young Driver Behavior and Injury Prevention

As a group, young drivers have the highest rate of motor-vehicle injuries and fatalities. UMTRI’s YDBIP researchers draw on expertise in psychology, public health, and injury prevention to conduct scientific studies and develop intervention programs to improve the safety of young drivers. The YDBIP group collaborates with many academic partners as well as state and federal agencies. YDBIP researchers work to:

  • Understand the social, psychological, behavioral, and physiological aspects of unsafe driver behavior, particularly the inexperienced, impaired, and distracted behavior of teens and young adults
  • Provide an evidence base for effective strategies, programs and policies that enhance teen and young adult driver safety
  • Translate effective teen and young driver safety programs into practice
  • Promote the adoption of safe driving behavior among teens and young adults

Research Areas

  • Alcohol, Drugs, and Driving
  • Community-Based Traffic Safety
  • Crash/Injury Data Collection, Management, and Analysis
  • Safety-Belt Reminder Systems
  • State Driver History Databases
  • Traffic Safety Programs
  • Young Drivers
  • Checkpoints Program for Parents
  • Graduated Driver Licensing
  • Parental Involvement

Recent and ongoing projects


Experimental effects of injunctive norms on simulated risky driving among teenage males
Bruce G. Simons-Morton, C. Raymond Bingham, Emily B. Falk, Kaigang Li, Anuj K. Pradhan, Marie Claude Ouimet, Farideh Almani, Jean T. Shope

journal article Health psychology, vol 33(7), Jul 2014, 616-627

Teenage passengers affect teenage driving performance, possibly by social influence. To examine the...

Young driver distraction: state of the evidence and directions for behavior change programs
Lisa Buckley, Rebekah L. Chapman, Mary Sheehan

journal article Journal of Adolescent Health, volume 54, number 5, supplement, May 2014, pp. S16-S21

Adolescent drivers are overrepresented in distraction-related motor vehicle crashes. A number of...

In their own words: adolescents strategies to prevent friends' risk-taking.
Lisa Buckley, Rebekah L. Chapman, Mary C. Sheehan, Bianca N. Reveruzzi

journal article Journal of early adolescence. Vol. 34, no. 4 (May 2014), p. 539-561.

Injury is a significant public health problem among youth. A primary cause of adolescent injury is...