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Road crashes among unlicensed drivers – preventable by new technology?

Drivers without a license or with a stolen vehicle are involved in more than 10% of fatal road crashes in Norway. Many of these crashes could be prevented with technical systems, like electronic driver authentication.

A new literature review shows that unlicensed drivers have a considerably increased crash risk. Such crashes could be prevented by electronic driver authentication, i.e., a technical system for checking that a driver or rider has legal access to a vehicle before driving is permitted.

This can be done by requiring the driver/rider to identify themselves with a national identity number and a unique code or biometric information before driving may commence, and that the vehicle thereafter verifies license availability and vehicle access by communication with a central register.

In more than 80% of fatal crashes with unlicensed drivers/riders, speeding and/or drug influence contributed to the crash. This means that a majority of crashes with unlicensed drivers alternatively could be prevented by available systems, such as alcolock and speed-limit-dependent speed adapters.

However, there are many crashes that are not influenced by those measures, and there is consequently a potential for additional safety improvement by means of an electronic driver authentication system.

The report is written in Norwegian, but you can read more in our English summary: Road crashes among unlicensed drivers – preventable by new technology? TØI Report 1529/2016. Author: Fridulv Sagberg


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