Virtual Driving Assessment

In partnership with CHOP spin-out company Diagnostic Driving, Inc., CIRP researchers have built and validated the virtual driving assessment that measures a person's ability to drive safely and avoid crashes. This innovative assessment is powered by Ready-Assess™,  a self-guided software program that automatically measures more than 100 skill metrics as drivers are exposed to the most serious crash scenarios (as defined by research) in a 15-minute drive around town.

At the end of the virtual driving assessment, teens (and their families) receive high-quality, personalized feedback on their crash-avoidance skills, including tips to improve and links to videos created by CHOP experts to develop specific driving skills. 

The first application of the virtual driving assessment in Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (OBMV)'s licensing centers demonstrated its ability to predict ORE performance on the on-road examination (ORE), as well as its practical implementation in state licensing center workflows.

Research Projects

 

Ohio Portable Driving Simulator System Pilot (2017-2019)
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CIRP collaborated with Diagnostic Driving, Inc., the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to adapt and pilot a previously validated virtual driving test,  Ready-Assess™, to identify underprepared new license applicants as part of the licensing process and before the state's on-road exam. Results demonstrated the PDSS was highly scalable and could accurately detect underprepared applicants.

Principal Investigators: Flaura Winston, MD, PhD, Elizabeth Walshe, PhD

Funding: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the State of Ohio

Read the October 2020 Health Affairs Article About the Ohio Pilot's Implications for Policy

Read a Report About the Ohio PDSS Pilot  

Read the Blog Post, The Difference Between a Driving Simulator and Our Virtual Driving Test

Read More About Diagnostic Driving, Inc. and Its Software-As-A-Service Product, Ready-Assess™

Implementation of Virtual Driving Assessment in Primary Care Practices
Through a collaboration with CHOP Care Network Operations and CIRP, The Possibilities Project at CHOP is piloting the use of the virtual driving assessment (VDA) at select CHOP primary care offices using an innovative implementation approach. Practices receive on-site training and the support of a dedicated implementation team, but each practice is encouraged to include the driving assessment in a way that works best for their individual work flow. For example, one practice may prefer that teens complete the VDA before their wellness visit, while others after the visit. 

Initial feedback from both teens and their families has been extremely positive, finding the VDA easy to use and helpful in determining next steps for skill development. Once fully operational across the CHOP Primary Care Network, CIRP researchers plan to measure the program’s impact on licensing and crash data among young people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Principal Investigators: Alex Fiks, MD, MSCEFlaura Winston, MD, PhD, Elizabeth Walshe, PhD

Funding: NJM Insurance Group

Read the Blog Post, Assessing Young Drivers in Primary Care 

Read a Press Release About the Project

Watch a Video About the Project 

License Examination Crash Outcomes Post-Licensure in Young Drivers: Do the Youngest Drivers Crash the Most? 

This large, prospective population-based study of 2018 Ohio licensing data shows age-related differences in licensing and crash outcomes that track with age-related licensing policies in Ohio. CIRP researchers compared data from 136,643 license applicants between the ages of 16 and 24 with tracked licensed driver crash outcome data from up to one year after licensure for 129,897 of those drivers.

The study found that drivers who were licensed at age 18, making them exempt from comprehensive licensing requirements that include behind the wheel training had the highest crash rates in the first year of licensure of all those licensed under the age of 25. Compared with drivers licensed at age 18, those licensed at age 16 had 27% lower crash rates over the first two months of licensure and 14% lower crash rates over the first 12 months of licensure. Compared with drivers licensed at 18, those licensed at age 17 had 19% lower crash rates over the first 2 months of licensure and 6% lower crash rates over the first 12 months of licensure. In addition, 16-year-old license applicants performed best of all those licensed under age 25 on the on-road license examination, with a 22% failure rate compared with a 37% failure rate at age 18.

When accounting for socioeconomic status (SES), those in the lowest 10th percentile SES neighborhoods had statistically significantly higher crash rates than those living in the highest 10th percentile SES neighborhoods and were more likely to fail their first on-road driving exam, suggesting the importance of making comprehensive driver training more affordable.

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Walshe, PhD

Funding: Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of Child Health and Development of the National Institutes of Health; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles; Annenberg Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania; NJM Insurance Group

Read the Study Abstract

Read a Press Release About the Study

Read a Blog Post About the Study

Novel Use of a Virtual Driving Assessment to Classify Driver Skill at the Time of Licensure

Using data from a virtual driving assessment (VDA) implemented into the licensing workflow in Ohio, this study compared the VDA performance of nearly 33,000 license applicants to their on-road examination results. Researchers created a set of Driving Skill Clusters that represent driving performance in areas including vehicle control, braking, acceleration, and tendency to speed or tailgate. They then grouped results with these clusters into four driving classes: 1) No issues (careful and skilled); 2) Minor Issues (minor vehicle control deficits); 3) Major Issues (vehicle control problems with reckless/risk-taking behaviors); 4) Major Issues with Dangerous Behaviors (more reckless/risk-taking behaviors).

Those in the No Issues and Minor Issues classes were 29% and 11% less likely to fail the on-road examination, while those in the Major Issues and Major Issues with Dangerous Behaviors classes were 34% and 19% more likely to fail the on-road examination. This study shows that license applicants can be classified based on their driving skills at the time of licensure. Future studies will validate these Skill Cluster classes in relation to their prediction of post-licensure crash outcomes.

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Walshe, PhD

Funding: Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of Child Health and Development of the National Institutes of Health; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles; Annenberg Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania; NJM Insurance Group

Read the Study Abstract 

Read a News Article About the Study

Keep It Brief and Targeted: Driving Performance Feedback Report Features to Use With Novice Drivers

A key way to improve teen driver safety is to develop driving evaluations that can help novice drivers develop crucial skills instead of just providing pass/fail information. This study aimed to inform driving feedback report design to not only include skill development information, but also to ensure ease of use and understandability. Participants ages 18–25 years were recruited from CloudResearch Prime Panels to rate 1 of 9 report design formats with various combinations of five key features: 1) performance summary, 2) action plan (AP) length, 3) AP order, 4) AP grading system, and 5) peer comparison. They then completed questionnaires.

Results show that feedback reports designed with a performance summary and a short, targeted action plan starting with the biggest area for improvement are most likely to motivate novice drivers to take action to improve skills and are also easy to use and understand. 

Principal Investigator: Chelsea Ward McIntosh, MS, CCRP

Funding: NJM Insurance Group

Read the Study Abstract 

Watch a video about how NJM and CHOP are partnering to bring the virtual driving assessment to primary care: