The behavioral contributors to highway crashes of youthful drivers

Annu Proc Assoc Adv Automot Med. 2000;44:321-33.


The per-mile crash rate of drivers under age 20 is over five times that of the adult population in general, while that of 16-year-old novices is approximately ten times that of adults. Reports of over 2,000 non-fatal crashes involving young drivers were analyzed for behavioral crash contributors as a step in orienting preventive efforts. The great majority of non-fatal crashes resulted from errors in attention, visual search, speed relative to conditions, hazard recognition, and emergency maneuvers, with high speeds and patently risky behavior accounting from but a small minority. The pattern of errors for novices did not differ significantly from that of more experienced youth.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Attention
  • Automobile Driving / standards*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maryland / epidemiology
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Risk-Taking
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology