Personalized driving safety: Using telematics to reduce risky driving behaviour among young drivers

Lynn Meuleners, Michelle Fraser, Mark Stevenson, Paul Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The role of real-time data capture (via telematics technology) is gathering prominence as a strategy to provide feedback to young drivers about important road safety issues. Method: A naturalistic driving study was undertaken to determine whether providing personalized feedback (via a smartphone app) to young provisional drivers aged 17–20 years living in metropolitan and regional Western Australia (WA) reduced their risky driving behavior compared to a control group who did not receive feedback. Speeding over the posted speed limit, harsh decelerations (braking), harsh accelerations and overall driving performance, were recorded continuously using the smartphone app during the 11-week study. Four separate Generalised Estimating Equations (GEE) linear regression models were undertaken after accounting for relevant confounders including driving exposure to determine the difference between the intervention and control group for the 4 driving outcomes obtained from the smartphone app. Results: The study found that there was no significant change in overall driving scores between the intervention and control groups (p = 0.35). However, the overall driving score significantly improved by 0.19 points for young provisional drivers who lived in regional areas compared to those in the metropolitan area (p = 0.05) after adjusting for potential confounders. There was also no significant change in harsh braking scores (p = 0.46) and harsh acceleration scores between the intervention and control groups (p = 0.26) However, harsh acceleration scores improved by 0.37 points for females compared to males (p = 0.04). Lastly, there was no significant change in speed scores between the control and intervention groups (p = 0.72). However, the speed scores of participants who lived in regional WA improved by 0.22 points compared to those in the metropolitan area (p = 0.02). Furthermore, for every 1,000 km travelled, speed scores worsened by −0.08 points (p < 0.01) regardless of group. Conclusions: The study did not find any statistical difference in the driving outcomes examined; however the treatment effects for feedback were consistently in the expected positive direction. Young drivers in regional WA also improved their speeding scores and overall driving performance scores compared to young drivers in the metropolitan area. Females, also significantly improved their harsh deceleration scores compared to males, regardless of group allocation. These results highlight the use of smartphone telematics as an opportunity to not only enhance the safety of provisional young drivers but also provide data-informed decision making and policy development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-173
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


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