Teen driving exposure in Michigan: Demographic and behavioral characteristics

J. P. Ehsani, C. R. Bingham, J. T. Shope, T. M. Sunbury, B. Kweon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and a leading cause of non-fatal injury for teenagers in the United States. Understanding teen crashes requires a good measure of crash risk. The measure of exposure that is used in the calculation of risk estimates determines what information the resulting rates and rate ratios provide and the conclusions that can be drawn about teen driver crash risk. The purpose of this study is to provide an initial description of three measures of individual-level exposure to driving for 16-17-year-olds in the state of Michigan, using data from the state-wide Michigan Travel Counts survey conducted in 2004 and 2005. The total miles, minutes, and trips driven within the 48-h survey period were calculated for each respondent using self-reported measures and geo-spatial mapping. Young drivers who worked and those with greater access to a vehicle drove significantly more than their peers who did not work and those who had less access to a vehicle. Those from urban residences spent more time driving than those from rural residences. All 16-17-year-olds drove substantially more during the day than at night, and on their own than with passengers. There was little difference in overall driving exposure and driving behavior between young men and young women. This study provides an initial description of driving exposure and behavior for a population for which there is very little specific information about amounts and patterns of individual driving exposure. The relationship between individual driving exposure and risk of motor vehicle crash, injury or fatality requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1386-1391
Number of pages6
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Crash risk
  • Exposure
  • Teen driving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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