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G-force events monitored to predict teen driving accidents

A recent study confirmed what many of us already knew to be true: the riskier the teen driver, the higher than chance of that driver getting into a car accident.

The study was led by researchers from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Each of the 42 teen drivers involved in the study had a monitoring device put in the vehicle they were operating. This device recorded the number of elevated gravitational-force events, known as g-force events, over an 18 month period. A high g-force event is things like braking hard, quick starts and sharp turns.

Of the more than 68,000 driving trips that were recorded, it was found that as the rate of high g-force events increased, so did the number of crashes or close calls.

During the course of the study there were a total of 37 crashes, and another 242 almost accidents.

The lead researcher from the study said that the results do not mean that g-force events like sudden acceleration or hard braking actually cause accidents. Rather, these risky driving behaviors are a good predictor of whether or not a teen driver will get in a crash.

When looking at the research, one expert on transportation said these results should be looked at as a reminder to parents to monitor their child's driving behaviors. Basically, are they in control of the vehicle? Are they braking very suddenly? Maybe these are signs that he or she still needs more training and advice when it comes to driving?

For parents, while the devices that were used in the study are not widely available for purchase, there are similar types of devices that are available on the market. And while these devices do not necessarily reduce a person's risk of getting into an accident, it is one way for a parent to at the very least assess their child's driving behaviors in order to see what specific driving issues need to be focused on.


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