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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Iowa: Researchers Find More Parental Communication Benefits Young Drivers

A new study from the University of Iowa finds that the use of video monitoring technology combined with parents talking to their teens about safe driving motivates young drivers to be safer.

The study finds that in-vehicle video monitoring systems more effectively improve safety for high school drivers when paired with additional communication from parents. The study found that training parents how to improve communication with their children about safe driving reduced the probability of future unsafe driving incidents by as much as 80 percent.

Dr. Corinne Peek-Asa, study co-author and professor of occupational and environmental health in the University of Iowa College of Public Health, says about 3,000 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18 in the U.S. die every year in motor vehicle crashes, making auto accidents the leading cause of death for teens in that age group.

For the study, researchers from the College of Public Health and National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) followed 150 families in Iowa over a period of three years. All drivers were teenagers who recently received their driver’s licenses, and onboard video-monitoring systems were installed on all vehicles. Fifty of the parents received notifications of their child’s unsafe driving events, and 50 were not notified.

The remaining 50 received notification, and also agreed to participate in an ongoing series of conversations about safe driving with their child based on the Steering Teens Safe program. The program, a parent guide currently under development  helps parents improve their child’s safe driving skills by providing more focused feedback during a conversation after an unsafe driving event notification from the monitoring technology.

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