Combinations of factors contribute to young driver crashes

Jonathan J. Rolison*, Salissou Moutari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
104 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Motor-vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in adolescence and young adults. A multitude of factors, including skill level, inexperience, and risk taking behaviors are associated with young drivers’ crashes. This research investigated whether combinations of factors underlie crashes involving young drivers. Method: A retrospective longitudinal study was conducted on population-wide one- and two-car crashes in Great Britain during years 2005–2012 per driver age (17–20, 21–29, 30–39, 40–49) and sex. Reporting officers provided their assessment of the factors contributing to crashes. Principal components analysis was conducted to identify combinations of factors underlying young drivers’ crashes. Factor combinations, including challenging driving conditions, risk taking behaviors, and inexperience were implicated in young drivers’ crashes. Results: Combinations of factors reveal new insights into underlying causes of crashes involving young drivers. One combination revealed that slippery roads due to poor weather pose greater risk to young drivers who are inexperienced and likely to exceed the appropriate speed. The findings motivate new policy recommendations, such as educating young drivers about the importance of adjusting their speed to the road conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Early online date13 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The manuscript is an original report and is not published or under consideration elsewhere. The research was supported by a grant awarded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC Reference; EP/M017877/1 ). Jonathan J. Rolison is affiliated with the University of Essex, UK, and Salissou Moutari is affiliated with Queen’s University Belfast, UK. Neither institution had any role in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication. The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Accident causation
  • Contributing factors
  • Policymaking
  • Road safety
  • Younger drivers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


Dive into the research topics of 'Combinations of factors contribute to young driver crashes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this