The potential for a web based intervention to improve young adult passenger safety
Chapman, Rebekah L., Buckley, Lisa D., & Sheehan, Mary C. (2009) The potential for a web based intervention to improve young adult passenger safety. In Proceedings of the 2009 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference : Smarter, Safer Directions, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, New South Wales.
Young drivers aged 17-24 are consistently overrepresented in motor vehicle crashes. Research has shown that a young driver’s crash risk increases when carrying similarly aged passengers, with fatal crash risk increasing two to three fold with two or more passengers.
Recent growth in access to and use of the internet has led to a corresponding increase in the number of web based behaviour change interventions. An increasing body of literature describes the evaluation of web based programs targeting risk behaviours and health issues. Evaluations have shown promise for such strategies with evidence for positive changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. The growing popularity of web based programs is due in part to their wide accessibility, ability for personalised tailoring of intervention messages, and self-direction and pacing of online content. Young people are also highly receptive to the internet and the interactive elements of online programs are particularly attractive.
The current study was designed to assess the feasibility for a web based intervention to increase the use of personal and peer protective strategies among young adult passengers. An extensive review was conducted on the development and evaluation of web based programs. Year 12 students were also surveyed about their use of the internet in general and for health and road safety information. All students reported internet access at home or at school, and 74% had searched for road safety information. Additional findings have shown promise for the development of a web based passenger safety program for young adults. Design and methodological issues will be discussed.
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