Analysis of Teen Driver Training Program Released During Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Elk Grove, CA, April 10, 2017 – In observance of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, ADEPT Driver is highlighting a new Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) review of teenSMART that finds significant economic and societal return on investment from the program.
ADEPT Driver’s teenSMART program teaches teen drivers how to steer clear of distractions while driving, and how to recognize and avoid real-world hazards in a simulated driving environment. Skills are then reinforced with behind-the-wheel driving sessions with parents.
“The greatest risks on the road for teen drivers relate to characteristics associated with youthful age and their lack of driving experience,” says Dan Mayhew, Senior Research Scientist for TIRF. “Key risk factors for teen drivers include skill deficiencies in visual search, hazard detection and risk perception. These risk factors are addressed in the teenSMART program.”
TIRF’s report, White Paper: Safety Performance of teenSMART, summarizes objective and independent reviews of ADEPT Driver’s teenSMART program. The purpose of this report was to assess the veracity and strength of the available evidence that teenSMART reduces teen driver crashes and to review the economic and societal cost/benefit ratios of the program. The review found that for drivers age 16 the economic benefit/cost ratio would be $12.1 saved for each dollar spent, and the societal benefit/cost ratio would be $45.8 saved for each dollar spent.
Unlike driver education programs that focus on passing a driving test, teenSMART uses behavioral intervention methodology and scientifically based instructional technology to identify and address the six factors that cause more than 90 percent of all teen collisions.
“Studies of the program have shown a 61 percent increase in teen drivers’ visual awareness skills after completing teenSMART training,” says Dr. Richard Harkness, CEO of ADEPT Driver. “Large sample size, independent evaluations conducted by insurance company actuaries have found that teens that complete teenSMART have up to 30 percent fewer collisions and a 51 percent reduction in bodily injury when compared to teens who didn’t take teenSMART.”
The TIRF White Paper summarizes the evidence that teen drivers who complete the teenSMART program have lower collision rates than teens that did not complete the program. As the paper states, “Indeed, teenSMART has an impressive track record of review and assessment by insurance companies over the past 16 years that attest to its safety benefits. The fact that insurance companies offer discounts and made public statements, as well as supported those of ADEPT Driver, about teenSMART significantly reducing collisions is remarkably telling about the safety performance of teenSMART within an insurance environment.”
THE TRAFFIC INJURY RESEARCH FOUNDATION
The mission of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries. TIRF is a national, independent, charitable road safety research institute. Since its inception in 1964, TIRF has become internationally recognized for its accomplishments in a wide range of subject areas related to identifying the causes of road crashes and developing programs and policies to address them effectively.