Research In Action

Research In Action

virtual driving assessment
Reimagining Teen Driver Safety: Supporting New Drivers Via Primary Care
October 7, 2021

For nearly two decades, my career has been dedicated to improving driver safety. As a teen driver safety advocate, the heart of my work is empowering families with information, resources, and tools to develop safe driving skills – because nothing is more important than ensuring our children arrive home safely.

Many of you share the same mission, and together, we have made great strides in reducing car crashes and saving lives. The way we prepare young drivers for the road also continues to evolve. This past summer, NJM partnered with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to support an innovative approach to teen driver safety.

The program has the potential to transform the way teens prepare to drive independently. How?  By using novel virtual driving assessment technology validated in CHOP research to bridge the gap between driver education and practical driver assessment.

The virtual driving assessment program offers tremendous potential to  advance the future of teen driver safety. 

The virtual driving assessment (VDA) measures a person’s ability to drive safely and avoid crashes. The VDA is powered by Ready-Assess, a software program that automatically measures more than 100 skill metrics as drivers are exposed to the most serious crash scenarios as defined by research, including:

  • following other vehicles (rear end)
  • negotiating curves (driving off the road)
  • driving straight and too fast for conditions (driving off the road)
  • managing intersections with traffic (turn and timing-related conditions)

The brilliance of this program is in its personalization. The assessment not only identifies specific skill deficits, but also supports young drivers and their parents with feedback reports that describe performance in each driving scenario and tips to improve, including links to videos created by CHOP experts to develop specific driving skills. Identifying areas of concern and providing tools to develop safer driving skills before teens drive independently on the road is essential to reducing their crash risk – especially when considering more than 75% of novice driver crashes are due to driver error.

Collaborating with a Shared Mission

The virtual driving assessment (VDA) program is currently available at select CHOP Primary Care locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The program is the first of its kind worldwide and will be fully implemented at most CHOP Care Network sites over the next four years.

The implementation of the program is a collaboration among CHOP Care Network Operations, the Center for Injury Research and Prevention, and The Possibilities Project at CHOP, which is re-imagining the way CHOP delivers primary care. NJM shares CHOP’s mission to ensure children arrive home safely.

This program offers tremendous potential to measurably advance the future of teen driver safety. NJM is thrilled to join CHOP in this collaborative effort as part of our enduring commitment to safety and supporting the communities we are privileged to serve.