Research Studies & Reports

DMV’s Research & Development Branch has been conducting research and producing studies and reports since the 1950s. Research & Development reports help DMV to measure the impact of new laws on making drivers safer. We also identify areas where we can improve our processes, explore new approaches to solving existing problems, and branch out into new opportunities to serve you better. 

Request printed copies of studies and reports by mail at:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Research and Development Branch
2570 24th Street, Mail Station: H-126
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 657-5805

Please include the report number, the number of copies requested, and your name, address, and phone number.

390 Results

Report ID Date Published Title Section Links
157 1995/ 12

Evaluation of Mature Driver Improvement Program Home-StudyCourses

By: Eric Berube

This report compares the effectiveness of home-study and in-person courses offered underCalifornia's mature driver improvement (MDI) program. The major issue addressed inthe report is whether home-study MDI courses are less effective than in-person courses inreducing fatal/injury crashes and total citations. Two secondary issues are (a) the validityof MDI course completion as an indicator of fatal/injury crash risk and (b) whether MDIcourses themselves reduced fatal/injury crash risk. The study results provide littleevidence that home-study courses are less effective than in-person courses in reducingfatal/injury crashes and total citations, and no evidence that MDI course graduates are atactuarially lower fatal/injury crash risk than are nonparticipants. In addition, the resultsindicate that the MDI program may have reduced the rate of traffic violation citations,but not the rate of fatal/injury crashes, among course graduates.

203 2003/ 04

The Effectiveness of Home-Study Driver Education Compared toClassroom Instruction: The Impact on Student Knowledge, Skills, andAttitudes

By: Scott V. Masten and Eric A. Chapman

Home-study driver education programs exist in several states, but none have been scientificallyevaluated to determine if such courses are as effective as classroom-based courses for teaching driver education. Almost 1,500 students were randomly assigned to receive classroom instruction, a CDROM home-study course, a workbook home-study course, or an internet/workbook home-studycourse. Few differences were found on exit exam knowledge and attitude scores, but tended to favor the CD and internet/workbook home-study courses over the workbook or classroom courses.Differences favoring classroom courses on department written test outcomes likely reflect bias in such courses towards teaching test-specific material. The findings present no compelling evidence that home-study courses are less effective than classroom courses for teaching driver education. Thefindings could result in more widespread use of home-study courses. The use of low-cost home-study courses as the first stage of a two-tiered driver education program could make such programs more feasible and acceptable to the public.

35 1979/ 06

An Evaluation of Waiving the Driving Tests for Selected Graduates of Driver Training

By: David M. Harrington

To determine if it was plausible, without a reduction in screening quality, to permit the schools to certify students as meeting the requirements for a driver's license instead of requiring a driving test administered by DMV.

58 1977/ 01

The Effects of Range vs. Non-Range Driver Training on the Accident and Conviction Frequencies of Young Drivers

By: Dell R. Dreyer & Mary. Janke

The purpose of this study was to compare the relative effectiveness of a driving range vs. non-range driver education program in increasing skill and reducing accidents and convictions among teenage drivers.

NRN001 1973/ 12

California Driver Training Evaluation Study (Assembly Bill 1486, Veysey)

By: Margaret Hubbard Jones, UCLA

The California Driver Training Evaluation Study was established by Assembly Bill (AB) 1486 (1969 General Session, Veysey) for the purpose of comparing benefits and costs of behind-the-wheel driver training, as given in California high schools by certified high school teachers, with that given by licensed commercial driving school instructors. Additionally, the bill specified a comparison of the standard six-hour training, or its legal simulator-assisted substitute (short training program) with an enriched program providing four extra hours behind-the-wheel (long training program).

NRN002 1974/ 01

Defensive Driving as a Prerequisite for Licensing (Assembly Concurrent Resolution 94, Deddeh)

By: California DMV

To comply with a legislative resolution requesting DMV to conduct a study relating to the desirability of making completion of a course in defensive driving a requirement for persons seeking to obtain a California driver's license.

119 125 130 136 140 2020/ 04

Annual Tabulations of Mature Driver Program Driving Record Comparisons (1989-1993). Annual Report to the Legislature of the State of California.

By: Lee Stylos, Mary K. Janke, Eric Berube, Robert A. Hagge, Kevin K. Foster

To provide annual tabulations comparing the accident and conviction records of Mature Driver Improvement (MDI) course participants and of a randomly selected group of drivers of similar age (55 and above).

NRN004 1996/ 01

Effectiveness of Novice Driver Education

By: Raymond C. Peck

To review and critique the results of the NHTSA-funded driver training experimental evaluation known as the "Dekalb" study.

212 2004/ 09

Enhancing the Alcohol and Drugs Component Of the Statewide Driver Education Curriculum

By: Patrice Rogers

Alcohol-involved crash data show that young drivers are nearly two times more likely to be in an alcohol-involved fatal or injury crash than are all drivers in general. One important way of preventing alcohol-involved motor vehicle crashes is to provide a comprehensive and accurate education to new drivers about the known risks of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Over 250,000 students per year are guided by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Statewide Driver Education Curriculum. Yet, serious deficiencies have been identified in the original curriculum component covering alcohol and drug education. This project was undertaken to revise the curriculum to correct specific deficiencies, add missing topic areas, and update remaining issue areas that were already included in the curriculum. The final product is a comprehensive state of knowledge alcohol education curriculum component that is being incorporated into the Statewide Driver Education curriculum.

57.1 1976/ 06

An Abstract of The Effectiveness of Traffic Safety Material in Influencing the Driving Performance of the General Driving Population

By: James W. Anderson

To develop new traffic safety materials, tailoring some to the age and sex of the recipient; to determine if mailing such materials to California drivers would reduce subsequent accidents and convictions.