Could In-Car Warning Systems Make Teens Safer Drivers?

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A warning system can help make teen drivers safer, according to a trial program in Staffordshire County, United Kingdom. The County Council installed in-vehicle data recorders in the vehicles of 50 local teen drivers in March 2008 and studied them for six months.

The IVDRs, manufactured by GreenRoad of San Francisco, are normally used by truck drivers to help them learn safer driving practices and increase fuel efficiency. The IVDR keeps an eye on overly sharp turns, heavy acceleration, hard braking and quick lane changes. In this study, a warning system with red, yellow and green lights on a dashboard-mounted box was turned on midway through the trial. At that point, students received indications on how well they were driving.

After analyzing data from 18,000 trips, researchers found that the number of unsafe driving incidents fell by half after the warning lights were turned on.

It’s possible that insurance companies could charge lower premiums for teenage drivers who had such a system installed in their cars, according to Israeli safety researchers who studied the data.

Spy-in-the-Cab Could Improve Teenage Driving (New Scientist)

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