Researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have leveraged their exclusive access to an innovative data source to investigate safety-critical driving skill deficits in novice drivers. Led by Flaura Winston, MD, PhD, they developed a normative dataset of novice drivers linking Ohio licensing and crash data to driver performance data on a new virtual driving skills assessment adopted by the state and delivered before the on-road licensing examination.
To further develop the tool, the researchers then related the applicants' skill deficits to known risk factors (age, sex) to predict crashes during the first year of driving. The result is a normative dataset of more than 25,000 novice drivers at the point of licensure that may be used as a prototype for building out future datasets of clinical populations (i.e. HIV, epilepsy, neurosurgery) to improve safety guidelines and policy.
A normative dataset of novice drivers is being used for the following projects currently underway.
Determining Driving Skill Deficits At the Time of Licensure that Predict Crashes in the First Year of Independent Driving
CIRP researchers are currently working to describe virtual driving skills assessment skills recorded at the time of licensure that are associated with age and sex (known risk factors for crashes) and time spent in the learner period of licensure for new drivers/license applicants in Ohio.
Principal Investigator: Flaura Winston, MD, PhD; Funding: National Institutes of Health
Determining Driver Preparedness for the On-Road Examination in Ohio
CIRP researchers are working with the state of Ohio to help build an evidence base for making policy decisions around licensure and training in the state. For example, they are evaluating new driver preparedness across driver’s education and training in the state's licensing centers and driving schools.
Principal Investigator: Flaura Winston, MD, PhD; Funding: Ohio Highway Safety Grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Investigating Driving Performance in Patients with Thyroid Issues
Researchers from the Pediatric Thyroid Center at CHOP are investigating whether teen drivers' thyroid levels impact driving performance. To find out, they are comparing clinical patients' driving performance and outcomes to a normative dataset. They hope to better understand how hyper- and hypo-thyroidism impact driving performance in order to inform interventions to ensure safety.
Principal Investigator: Andy J. Bauer, MD; Funding: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia