Three Essays on the Graduated Driver Licensing Program in North Dakota
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Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is a stepwise driver licensing program for novice drivers. The objective of GDL programs is to improve novice drivers’ driving experience and skills over time, under low risk conditions. In this study, the effectiveness of GDL program implemented in North Dakota is examined using a before-and-after-time study. The first time period is before the initiation of a three-phase GDL program in North Dakota, pre-GDL period from 2007 to 2011. The second time period is after the implementation of a three-phase GDL program in North Dakota, post-GDL period from 2012 to 2016. The goal of the research design is to examine if teen driver involvement rate and likelihood of crash outcomes, in fatal and injury crashes, has changed over time. In theory, this would be due to the implementation of the three-phase GDL program. Results indicate that after the implementation of the three-phase GDL program, teen driver crash involvement rates in fatal and injury crashes in North Dakota has been reduced. However, starting from 2015, there is an increasing trend in the reduced crash rates at the state level. County level crash rate analysis indicates that crash rates have been reduced, specifically in counties including metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas in North Dakota. In other counties, including most of the rural areas of the state, crash rates have not been changed. Change in the likelihood of crash outcomes for teen drivers involved in fatal and injury crashes found not statistically significant. However, change in the likelihood of crash outcomes for the control group (adult drivers) has found increasing and statistically significant. This indicates that in the post-GDL period the likelihood of crash outcomes for teen drivers maintained unchanged with the implementation of the GDL program.
Doctor of Philosophy