Research Recap, September 19: Young Driver Safety, Accessible Housing, Transport Competition Winners

A recent study finds that the traffic safety benefits of graduated driver's licensing programs for young drivers are less than previously indicated. Photo by JBLM PAO.

Young Driver Safety

A new nationwide United States study indicates that graduated driver’s licensing programs yield lower traffic fatality rate improvements than previous research indicated. Conducted by a team of researchers, including lead author Scott Masten of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, the study examined fatal crashes involving 16-to 19-year-olds that occurred within the past 21 years. Prior research posited that programs setting limitations on young people’s driving had resulted in a 30 percent decrease in highway traffic fatalities among teenagers. Dr. Masten’s research team, however, uncovered that expanding the examination of traffic fatalities to include older age groups reveals that the decreases in traffic fatalities among 16-year-olds is offset by an increase in traffic fatalities involving 18-year-olds. The study found that while there have been 1,348 fewer fatal traffic crashes involving 16-year-olds, there have been 1,086 more fatal crashes involving 18-year-olds. The researchers attribute this phenomenon in part to many teenagers reacting to the driver’s licensing programs and simply waiting until they are 17 or 18 to get their driver’s license. The study was published in last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Accessible Housing

The Center for Housing Policy completed a comprehensive review of existing studies that examine the relationship between housing prices and proximity to transit access. The report found that proximity to rail adds an average appreciation of 10 percent to home values, depending largely on the perceived accessibility value of the transit service relative to other transportation modes. For example, housing values will likely appreciate more from rail exposure in a city with high traffic congestion and an extensive rail network than in a city with easily navigable roads and a limited rail network. Additional findings from the study include that apartments and condos generally experience greater rail-induced value appreciation than single family homes; proximity to bus systems generally doesn’t affect housing values; and placing transit stations near highways can often limit or eliminate their effect on housing value.

Sustainable Transport Students

Students of Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE) won first place with their sustainable transport project in the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) competition. The competition was organized by a collection of companies, including General Motors, Autodesk, Hewlett Packard, Oracle and Siemens. Seven teams, whose work was continuously appraised throughout the course of the year, were competing for the top spot with judgment criteria centering on product engineering, market research, manufacturing research and design. The winning SJCE project was on automated driving systems, GPS and social networking integration and inter-vehicular communication.

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