Investigators

Jodie Plumert
The University of Iowa
Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences

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Project

Extended Evaluation of Training Programs to Accelerate Hazard Anticipation Skills in Novice Teen Drivers

Upon beginning independent driving, crash rates among young novice drivers immediately undergo a sharp increase, and then begin to decline quickly with increased driving experience. Recently, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAAFTS) sponsored the creation of two training programs designed to accelerate the development of perceptual expertise and hazard anticipation skills in novice teen drivers. We submitted a successful proposal to the AAAFTS to test whether the Perceptual/Adaptive Learning Module (PALM; Lerner et al., 2017) and the Accelerated Curriculum to Create Effective Learning (ACCEL; Fisher et al., 2017) programs accelerate the development of hazard anticipation skills and safe driving behavior in newly-licensed teen drivers. We proposed to use driving simulation to test the effectiveness of the two programs compared to a control group. The goal of the current project proposal is to extend the study period to determine if the hypothesized effects of either intervention persist after six months of independent driving experience. At follow-up, participants will complete another drive in the NADS-2 driving simulator to assess hazard detection and mitigation skills. This work will increase understanding of whether hazard anticipation training programs have longer-lasting impacts on hazard anticipation skills or whether the effects taper off with time and experience. This information will be critical for policy-making decisions on whether to integrate such hazard anticipation training programs into driver education programs for teens.