The EAST’s Injury Control and Violence Prevention Committee’s Annual Distracted Driving Outreach Event: Evaluating attitude and behavior change in high school students

Lisa Allee, Tracey Dechert, Sowmya R. Rao, Marie Crandall, Ashley Christmas, Alexander Eastman, Thomas Duncan, Shannon Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The National Center for Statistics and Analysis report at least 8 deaths and 1,160 daily injuries due to distracted driving (DD) in the U.S. Drivers under age 20 are most likely to incur a distraction related fatal crash. We aimed to determine short and long term impact of a multi-modal educational program including student developed interventions, simulated driving experiences, and presentations by law enforcement and medical personnel. METHODS: A single day program aimed at teen DD prevention was conducted at a high school targeting students age 15 to 19 years old. Students were surveyed before, after, and at 6 weeks. We surveyed age, gender, knowledge and experience regarding DD. Summary statistics were obtained at each survey time point. Bivariate and multivariable (MV) analysis were conducted to assess whether change in responses varied over time points. MV models were adjusted for sex, urban and rural driving. RESULTS: Pre, post, and 6 week follow up surveys were completed by 359, 272 (76%), and 331 (92%) students respectively. At baseline and 6 week follow-up, the most frequent passenger reported DD behaviors were cell phone 63% (63% at follow-up) and radio use 61% (63%). Similarly, the most frequent driver reported DD behaviors were cell phone 68% (72%) and radio use 79% (80%). When students were asked, ‘how likely are you to use your cell phone while driving?’, they answered ‘never’, 35%, 70%, and 46% on the pre, post and 6 week surveys. They were less likely to report consequences to be worse or change in attitude to a great extent at 6 weeks (p<0.01). Gender, urban or rural driving were not significantly associated with responses. CONCLUSIONS: While DD education may facilitate short term knowledge and attitude changes, there appears to be no lasting effect. Research should be focused toward strategies for longer term impact. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II, therapeutic study STUDY TYPE: Original Article

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - May 22 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this