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Teen Driving Skills Acquisition and Training

Studies of newly-licensed teen drivers indicate that they exit the learner permit period with significant difficulty executing a variety of driving behaviors. The following projects are currently underway to help teens acquire the necessary skills and experience to drive safely when newly licensed:

  • The TeenDrivingPlan (TDP) Evaluation
    CHOP researchers have developed and evaluated the TeenDrivingPlan (TDP), a web-based program to help parents conduct more effective supervised driving practice. Preliminary evidence indicates that TDP improves the driving performance of teenage permit holders by providing parents with the knowledge and support tools needed to be better driving supervisors. The families that received TDP reported more practice in five of the six driving environments and at night and in bad weather as compared to those families that did not use TDP. Future analyses will explore ways to enhance TDP's effect on young driver performance and how best to disseminate the intervention. Both greater practice quantity and diversity were associated with better driving performance, but only practice diversity mediated the relationship between TDP and driver performance. For details about study results, how TDP works, and a brief video of the online invervention, click here.

    Please contact Jessica H. Mirman, PhD at (267) 426-6854 or or Dennis Durbin, MD, MSCE for more study information at (215) 590-7331 or

    This project was supported by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm®).

  • Development of an On-Road Driving Assessment for Learner Teen Drivers
    The ability to identify driving skill deficits during the learner permit phase would significantly advance teen driver research. To accomplish this goal, CHOP researchers developed the On-Road Driving Assessment for Learner Teen Drivers (tODA) to assess a wide range of specific driving tasks and characterize the nature of safety-relevant behaviors (classified as "critical errors") that teens make during the learner phase. Initial results show that the tODA expands the reportoire of driving assessments for teens and could be used in research studies or practical evaluations of driving performance.

    Please contact Dennis Durbin, MD, MSCE for more study information at (215) 590-7331 or

    This project was supported by the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm®).

  • Perpetually Accurate Video Manipulation of Vehicle Speed for Teen Driver Training
    CHOP researchers are working with Parallel Consulting, Petaluma, CA, to develop an innovative tool for training teen drivers in speed management. The goal of the research is to develop and validate an innovative approach for driver's education that uses digital visual effects for manipulating vehicle speed as part of a web-based training system. Previous research has shown that effective training must include naturalistic descriptions that reflect the complexity of a situation. This system will provide perceptually accurate cues that teens will learn to associate with safe speeds so that when they encounter similar situations in real world driving, they will be able to draw on this experiential knowledge to make safe judgments about their speed.

Read a blog post about the research

 Please contact Yi-Ching Lee, PhD, for more study information at

This project is supported by a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)



Click here to read a blog post about CIRP@CHOP research on the learner phase of driving.

Click here to read a blog post about how families used the TeenDrivingPlan (TDP) program.

Further reading:

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