About the Subcommittee

Statement of the Problem

The exaggerated teen crash rate and concomitant attention that teen drivers are now receiving in the public invites a broadening focus — i.e., beyond driver training — on related research and evaluation activities. While attention to teen driving issues has been, and will continue to be, within the scope of TRB's Operator Education and Regulation committee (ANB30), an affiliated group devoted exclusively to teen driving may be more effective in applying the expertise needed to guide local, state and national efforts toward scientifically/ conceptually sound interventions. This is the premise for launching the Young Driver Subcommittee.

Research on teen drivers has grown dramatically in the past decade, but there is still a great deal to be learned. Many critically important questions have not even been addressed, much less answered. Consequently, there is a current rush to action that largely falls outside the professional traffic safety community, and which is grounded only marginally in scientific principles. A formal entity within TRB whose explicit focus is to promote solid research on teen driving issues can — and should — help to enhance the quality of the nation's efforts to address teen driver crashes.

Subcommittee Scope

The scope of this subcommittee is limited to teenage drivers (i.e., those younger than 20). It will undertake activities designed to improve and extend research on (1) the nature of teen driving, including broad social, psychological, cultural, and biological issues; (2) teen crash causation; (3) the role of parents and peers in teen driving; and (4) the effective translation of scientific understanding into policies and programs to reduce teen driver crash rates.

Goals and Actions

The unifying goal of this subcommittee is to foster both conceptually and empirically informed programs and policies to reduce teen driver crashes. This goal entails the following, more detailed objectives:

Specific actions in support of the subcommittee's goals include plans to: