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Journal Article


Planek TW, Schupack SA, Fowler RC. Accid. Anal. Prev. 1974; 6(3-4): 271-297.


(Copyright © 1974, Elsevier Publishing)






The National Safety Council's Defensive Driving Course (DDC) was evaluated by two methods--comparison of self-reported accident rates from the year before and the year after DDC, and comparison of the after-DDC rates with those reported by other drivers who were not exposed to DDC but were driving at the same time. Official state records were also collected. Information was obtained from 8182 DDC graduates (study group) in 26 states who completed a survey describing their accident histories for the 12-month period before DDC. One year later. 72 per cent (5921) of these drivers responded to a similar self report for the 12-month period after DDC. At the time this after-DDC information was collected, comparison group information was obtained for 2397 drivers who entered the DDC program 1 year later. Official records from seven states were collected for approximately one third of the study and comparison group samples.DDC graduates responding to the recontact questionnaire reported significant reductions of 32.8 per cent fewer accidents in the year after DDC as compared to the year before. The study group respondent accident rate was also significantly lower than the comparison group rate. Further analysis of self report data showed that reductions following DDC were greater for males than females and were less for those drivers 24 yr and under with females in this age group showing the least reductions after DDC. Accident profiles after DDC including type, severity, and manner of collision remained generally similar to before-DDC profiles, although there appeared to be a positive connection between course emphasis and the magnitude of reduction for different types of accidents. The study group showed a 17.6 per cent reduction in state-recorded accidents in the year after as compared with the year before DDC. The comparison group showed an increase of 11.9 per cent in state-recorded accidents over the same period. The reductions in state-recorded accidents after DDC for the study group were not significantly different from those of the comparison group, however, the results of the state-recorded analysis were viewed as supporting the significant decreases found in the self reports.


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