Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

8-28-2014

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering & Operations Research

Degree Type

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (M.S.I.E.O.R.)

Year Degree Awarded

2014

Month Degree Awarded

September

Advisor Name

Donald

Advisor Middle Initial

L

Advisor Last Name

Fisher

Abstract

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death during adolescence, with the fatal crash rate per mile-driven for 16-19 years old drivers being nearly 3 times larger than the rate for drivers age 20 and older. High gravitational events among teenage drivers, such as quick starts, and hard stops, have been shown to be highly correlated with crash rates. The current younger driver training programs developed in the late 1990s, however, do not appear to be especially effective in regard to many skills which are critical to avoiding crashes. With this in mind, a simulator-based training program aimed at reducing the behaviors that make quick accelerations unsafe and quick decelerations unnecessary was designed and evaluated. The training adopts the active training strategy which has been proven to be effective, and includes those scenarios in which teenage drivers are at highest risks. It is expected that drivers who receive the active training will drive more safely than drivers who receive the placebo training, in terms of eye scanning behaviors in scenarios where quick accelerations are necessary (e.g., how often they glance towards areas where threats could emerge), following behaviors in scenarios where a lead vehicle could stop suddenly (e.g., how much headway they allow between their vehicle and a lead vehicle), and vehicle behaviors such as speed, acceleration rate, deceleration rate and headway.