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J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2013 Oct;75(4 Suppl 3):S285-9. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e31828f9aa4.

A pilot hospital-school educational program to address teen motor vehicle safety.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Texting while driving has emerged as a significant distracted driving behavior among teenage drivers. A unique hospital-school collaborative pilot intervention (called "Be in the Zone" or "BITZ") was implemented to combat this growing problem. This intervention was hypothesized to lead to a decline in texting while driving among high school students.

METHODS:

This collaborative intervention consisted of two separate phases. In Phase 1, small groups of high school student leaders participated in a half-day interactive educational session in a pediatric hospital. Pre- and post-follow-up surveys were administered to this group. In Phase 2, these same students took the lessons they learned from the hospital to plan and implement a yearlong peer-to-peer campaign that focused on a clear "no texting while driving" message at their schools. Two unannounced driver observations were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program.

RESULTS:

Sixty-one high school students participated in Phase 1. Self-reported texting while driving rates decreased significantly among the participants after Phase 1. Two schools were recruited to participate in Phase 2. Unannounced driver observations were conducted before the campaign and toward the end of the campaign. Postintervention, there was a significant decrease in the percentage of drivers who texted while driving.

CONCLUSION:

Preliminary results from this pilot program suggest that a strategy of combining hospital-school partnerships with a peer-driven educational approach can be effective in reducing texting while driving among teenagers in the short-term.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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