Development of a supplementary driver education tool for teenage drivers on rural roads

Wesley Kumfer, Hongchao Liu, Dayong Wu, Dali Wei, Sreeram Sama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Teenagers are at greater risk than any other drivers on the highway system in the United States, especially in states like Texas with large rural road networks. Rural roads present many unique safety concerns that are traditionally unexplored in standard driver education curricula. In fact, many studies have actually indicated that driver education is very limited in use and efficacy. However, national goals for driver education envision a more comprehensive continuing education process, and computer-based education tools may be one supplementary method to address gaps in young driver training. Methods: The research team developed a flash-based computer education tool covering topics relating to driver behavior and rural roads and tested the efficacy of this tool in two rural-serving high schools in West Texas by comparing the results of pre- and post-intervention surveys using linear regression, analysis of variance, and logistic regression. Results: The results were promising, with students who used the intervention scoring higher on both a driver behavior scale and rural safety scale. All models indicated that students who took the intervention, even without being previously licensed, demonstrated greater knowledge and awareness. Conclusions: The models demonstrated the viability of this type of intervention tool for inclusion in a phased driver education program and for addressing the lack of rural road safety knowledge. Practical applications: The computer-based-training program developed in this project supports the potential efficacy of supplemental pre-licensure computer-based education tools for improving teen driver knowledge and safety awareness and fills a gap for rural road safety education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
JournalSafety Science
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Driving behavior
  • Logistic regression
  • Rural roads
  • Teenagers


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