Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

David R Martinelli

Committee Co-Chair

Ronald Eck

Committee Member

David Martinelli

Committee Member

Avinash Unnikrishnan


New, young drivers are over three times more susceptible to crashes in their first 1,000 miles of on road driving. In order to reduce the number incident rate for teenage drivers, Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) programs have been implemented across the country. West Virginia, along with all other states, aims to further improve the effectiveness of this program. Currently, GDL effectiveness is steeply limited by the willingness of teenager drivers and their parents to comply with the laws in place. Across the country, programs are being implemented that help raise awareness of GDL and supplement some of the information already provided by the state. One key aspect where GDL is limited is the effect it has on the behavior and attitude of the teenagers passing through its process. Understanding why teenagers engage in certain high risk activities that go against the restrictions outlined by GDL is crucial to developing educational programs. A survey of high schools representing urban, suburban, and rural demographics has been designed to flush out elements that may affect students' perception of what risky driving habits are and what they would consider to be acceptable behavior. Using the insight developed from these surveys, programs will be recommended to better cater to the needs of the students of West Virginia; the most notable of which is "Teens in the Driver Seat" which promotes peer-led safe driving campaigns.