Contact Us

Teen Drivers' Skill 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 teen drivers receive the necessary skill acquisition and training to drive safely when newly licensed:

The Simulated Driving Assessment (SDA)
CHOP researchers have developed and validated the Simulated Driving Assessment (SDA), a simulator-based driving assessment that can differentiate between skilled and non-skilled drivers. The development of the SDA  followed more than a decade of foundational CHOP research regarding young driver crashes and over five years of research to create and validate it. The SDA offers for the first time a safe way to assess novice teen drivers' skills in high-risk driving scenarios that commonly lead to crashes. The SDA is a package of software products that runs on commerciallly available driving simulators. As a standard protocol to evaluate teen driver performance, the SDA has the potential to screen and assess for licensure readiness and could be used to guide targeted skill training. Future CHOP studies will further explore the SDA's use in evaluating risky driving behaviors in teens. Read more about the research

For more information on this study, please contact Catherine C. McDonald, PhD at

This project is supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health, and the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS).

TeenDrivingPlan (TDP)
The development of TDP, an interactive web-based program to help parents more effectively supervise driving practice, involved five years of formative research followed by a randomized, controlled trial of young drivers and their parent supervisors. Key TDP study results show that the intervention increases parent engagement as driving supervisors, practice variety, and parent support of teens. Young drivers that used TDP over a 24-week period were 65 percent less likely to fail a rigorous on-road driving assessment than those not given access to TDP. Familes who used TDP also reported more driving practice in various environments, at night, and in bad weather. Read more about the research.

For more information on this study, please contact Dennis Durbin, MD at

This project is supported by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.



teen drivers' skill acquisition and training research

Read more about CHOP's SDA research:


Further reading:

facebook Twitter Twitter

Web Award 2010

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

©2018 The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia | SITE TERMS | SITEMAP Children's Hospital of Philadelphia