Young drivers have elevated motor vehicle crash rates compared to other drivers. The study investigates characteristics of young driver crashes that took place in Kansas from year 2006 to 2008 by comparing them with more experienced drivers. In order to calculate the population-based rates, number of licensed drivers in each group was taken into account, where the data were taken from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). Annual vehicle miles traveled were obtained from National Household Travel Survey data to calculate the exposure-based crash rates. Young drivers were divided into two groups: aged 15-19 (teen) and aged 20-24 (young-adult) for detailed investigation. Multinomial logit models were developed, and likelihood ratio (LR) estimates and odds ratios (ORs) were used to identify overly represented characteristics and contributory causes of young driver crashes. Teen drivers were more likely to involve in crashes due to failure to give time and attention, falling asleep, failure to yield right of way, and distractions. Alcohol involvement, driving without a valid license, having restrictions on driver’s license, and involvement on off-roadway crashes were significant factors which increase the young driver injury severity. Driving with a valid license and wearing seat belt decrease the young driver injury severity. Based on the identified factors, crash mitigation strategies are presented.


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