Road safety and teen and novice drivers in low-and middle-income countries

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Handbook of Teen and Novice Drivers: Research, Practice, Policy, and Directions




© 2017 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved. Currently the ninth leading cause of death worldwide, road traffic injuries are projected to be the seventh leading cause by 2030 and thus represent a major, continued, and often neglected threat to public health. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for people aged 15-29 years worldwide. Research from high-income countries (HICs) indicates that teen and novice drivers have a higher risk of crash and death than other drivers, but there are few studies in low- and middleincome countries (LMICs), where the burden is highest. Addressing traditional risk factors for road traffic injury such as seat belt and motorcycle helmet use, speed, and alcohol, in combination with emerging risk factors like distracted driving, will reduce fatal and nonfatal road traffic injuries among teens and novice drivers worldwide. Graduated driver licensing has proven effective for reducing crashes and related deaths among young drivers in HICs; similar programs should also be implemented in LMICs as well. While there are challenges to the implementation of evidencebased programs in LMICs, the United Nations Global Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 represents an opportunity for governments, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, academics, and youth themselves to come together to reduce the large number of crashes, injuries, deaths, and disability among teen and novice drivers worldwide.