Effectiveness of a brief parent-directed teen driver safety intervention (Checkpoints) delivered by driver education instructors

J Adolesc Health. 2013 Jul;53(1):27-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.12.010. Epub 2013 Mar 6.


Background: The Checkpoints program (Checkpoints) uses a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement (PTDA) to help parents monitor teens' driving, and has shown efficacy in increasing parental restrictions on teens' driving and decreasing teens' risky driving. In previous trials, research staff administered Checkpoints. This study examined the effectiveness of Checkpoints when delivered by driver educators. It was hypothesized that Checkpoints would result in more PTDA use, greater PTDA limits on higher risk driving situations, and less high-risk driving.

Methods: Eight trained driving instructors were randomly assigned to intervention or control groups in a group randomized trial. Instructors enrolled 148 parent-teen dyads (intervention = 99, control = 49); 35% of those eligible. Intervention parents joined teens for a 30-minute Checkpoints session during driver education. The session included a video, persuasive messages, discussion, and PTDA initiation. Teens completed four surveys: baseline, licensure, and 3- and 6-months post-licensure.

Results: Intervention teens were more likely to report that they used a PTDA (OR= 15.92, p = .004) and had restrictions on driving with teen passengers (OR = 8.52, p = .009), on weekend nights (OR = 8.71, p = .021), on high-speed roads (OR = 3.56, p = .02), and in bad weather (b = .51, p = .05) during the first six months of licensure. There were no differences in offenses or crashes at six months, but intervention teens reported less high-risk driving (p = .04).

Conclusions: Although challenges remain to encourage greater parent participation, Checkpoints conducted by driver education instructors resulted in more use of PTDAs, greater restrictions on high-risk driving, and less high-risk driving. Including Checkpoints in driver education parent meetings/classes has potential to enhance teen driver safety.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Automobile Driving / education*
  • Automobile Driving / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parenting
  • Parents / education*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk-Taking
  • Safety Management / methods*