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.

401 Results

Report ID Date Published Title Section Links
152 1995/ 06

Vision Testing of Renewal Applicants: Crashes Predicted when Compensation for Impairment is Inadequate

By: David F. Hennessy

This study addresses the enhanced vision test system component of a departmental plan to increase the competency level of the California driving population. Five experimental vision tests were administered to 3,669 randomly selected Class C renewal applicants in three field offices. The objective was to identify the vision tests showing the most promise for further validation in a large-scale statewide study. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that the relationship between vision test scores and crash involvement varies depending on applicant's age, general visual ability, and reported level of self-restriction. It was recommended that (1) management consider referring all DMV Snellen test fails to a vision specialist through the DL 62 process, (2) cross-validate the most promising tests (Pelli-Robson low-contrast acuity and perceptual reaction time assessment) in a large-scale demonstration project, and (3) continue research on developing improved assessment tests and protocols for drivers with age-related impairments.

II
2 1960/ 10

Vision Research Project Progress Report

By: Research & Development

To present an interim report on the finding of our Visual Research Program for which a preliminary report was presented in January 1959.

VI
227 2008/ 10

Vehicle Ownership Among Drivers Convicted of Driving While Suspended/Revoked in California

By: Erin J. Griffin

Suspended and revoked (S/R) drivers who continue to drive are at increased risk of being involved in crashes, driving under the influence, and other driving violations.

III
NRN035 1993/ 07

Using Traffic Violator School Citation Dismissals in Addition to Convictions as the Basis for Applying Postlicense Control Actions

By: Michael A. Gebers, Raymond C. Peck Mary K. Janke, & Robert A. Hagge

To determine whether TVS dismissals should be used, along with negligent operator (neg-op) points, in selecting drivers for level 3 license control action (suspension and probation). Implicit in this objective is the fact that any change in policy (or law) that would include TVS dismissals in triggering license control actions would be expected to produce a corresponding increase in the number of neg-op interventions. It is argued that any group of drivers whose accident expectancy (average accident rate) exceeds that of prima facie negligent (level 3) drivers is a legitimate target group for such actions.

III
187 2000/ 06

Using Traffic Conviction Correlates to Identify High Accident-Risk Drivers

By: Michael A. Gebers and Raymond C. Peck

This study further explored previous research involving the viability of predicting accidents from equationsconstructed to predict convictions for the general driving population. Models that better identify drivers at increased risk of future accident involvement will increase the number of accidents prevented through post license control actions. Although the results do not support the hypothesis that equations keyed to citations do as well as or better than equations keyed to accidents in predicting subsequent accidents, the results suggest that identification of future accident-involved drivers can be improved by either of two approaches. The first is to construct equations based on a combination of prior accidents and citations. California’s neg-op system basically reflects such an approach since points are allocated to traffic convictions and culpable accidents. The second alternative is more elaborate, involving a truly multivariate approach in which the prediction equation consists of a two-variable vector of subsequent citations and accidents. The canonical correlation analysis performed for this study resulted in two orthogonal canonical functions or roots: A driving-incident function consisting of primarily citations and secondarily accidents and an almost exclusively accident function. The results reported in this study indicate that subsequent driving record can be predicted from prior driving record for groups of individuals; however, the error rates at the individual level are inherently large. The models derived from the canonical analysis, while superior to the simpler models, would be very difficult to implement operationally. The most obvious problem relates to its complexity. Canonical correlation is difficult to comprehend. Another problem is that the equations contain a number of variables (e.g., age and gender) that would not be legally defensible in taking license control actions. This problem could be rectified, with some sacrifice in predictive power, by deleting the unacceptable variables. In addition, use of variables such as age and gender might be permissible for triggering educational advisory interventions.

III
IM5 1981/ 11

Use Tax Survey

By: Mary K. Janke

To compare reported purchase prices in use-tax transactions with wholesale Kelley Blue Book prices, in order to determine whether purchasers of used vehicles from private parties tended to underreport the amount they paid.

VII
IR1 1987/ 08

Use of Proxy Measures in Evaluating Post licensing Control Treatments

By: Mary K. Janke & Raymond C. Peck

To describe and evaluate the usefulness of alternative (accident proxy) measures in traffic safety studies.

III
131 1991/ 11

Uninsured Motorists: Their Rate and Cost to Insured Motorists

By: Len Marowitz

To calculate the rate of uninsured motorists statewide and in selected regions of the state where possible, to estimate the costs incurred by insured motorists as a result of accidents caused by uninsured motorists, and to determine the average insurance policy premium cost for an insured motorist.

VI
NRN081 1990/ 05

Uninsured Motorist (SB 850) Study: Estimate of the Rate and Analysis of the Effects of Economic Covariate Factors and the Intervention of SB 850 on the Rate of Uninsured Motorists in California from 1978 to 1988, #2

By: Leonard A. Marowitz

To estimate the rate of uninsured motorists in California (first report) and to determine if the rate of uninsured motorists covaried with economic factors from 1978 to 1988 and if the intervention of SB 850 had an effect on the rate (second report).

VI
NRN080 1990/ 03

Uninsured Motorist (SB 850) Study: Estimate of the Rate and Analysis of the Effects of Economic Covariate Factors and the Intervention of SB 850 on the Rate of Uninsured Motorists in California from 1978 to 1988, #1

By: Leonard A. Marowitz

To estimate the rate of uninsured motorists in California (first report) and to determine if the rate of uninsured motorists covaried with economic factors from 1978 to 1988 and if the intervention of SB 850 had an effect on the rate (second report).

VI