Behind the Wheel (BTW) Smartphone Application


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The purpose of this study is to find out if a phone app can help the learning-to-drive process among teenagers and novice drivers.

Targeted Conditions

Study Overview

Start Date
February 19, 2023
Completion Date
October 1, 2025
Date Posted
September 26, 2022
Accepts Healthy Volunteers?


Full Address
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Columbus, Ohio 43205, United States


Minimum Age (years)
Maximum Age (years)
Eligibility Criteria
Inclusion criteria:

Teen participants must be between the ages of 15.5-17 years old at the time of enrollment
Participants must have one parent and/or legal guardian who agrees to participate in the study.
Participants' parents must possess car insurance with at least state-minimum coverage.
Participants must be willing to fulfill the minimum requirements of the Ohio GDL system.
Driver must complete a driver education class at a licensed driver training school with 24 hours of classroom or online instruction and 8 hours of driving time; driver must complete 50 hours of driving with at least 10 hours of night driving; driver must hold the permit for at least 6 months.
Participants must have a functioning smartphone and active smartphone account compatible for the BTW app.
To prevent any interference from another driving-related study, participants must agree not to enroll in other driving-related research/driving performance app during the study period.
Participants must be willing to be randomized and comply with study requirements.
Participants must speak and read English.
Participants must be a US citizen or have permanent resident status.

Exclusion criteria:

- Drivers younger than 15.5 will be excluded because Ohio does not issue a temporary instruction driving permit identification card (i.e., learner's driving permit) starting the GDL process until age 15.5.

Study Contact Info

Study Contact Name
Motao Zhu, MD, MS, PhD
Study Contact Email
Study Contact Phone

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Other Details

FDA Regulated Drug?
FDA Regulated Device?
Detailed Description
This project will assess the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an app (BTW) to quantify driving behaviors and promote safe driving in adolescents who are beginning their learner period of licensure. 90 teens and their corresponding parents/guardians will be randomized into one of three study groups. Researchers aim to test the feasibility of the BTW app on acceptance and retention, evaluate the preliminary efficacy of the BTW app with a teen-parent dyad intervention on driving performance after using the BTW app for six months, and investigate the long-term effects of the BTW app intervention on driving performance and safety attitudes among teens.
NCTid (if applicable)