Young driver distraction : state of the evidence and directions for behavior change programs

Buckley, Lisa, Chapman, Rebekah L., & Sheehan, Mary C. (2014) Young driver distraction : state of the evidence and directions for behavior change programs. Journal of Adolescent Health, 54(5), S16-S21.

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Adolescent drivers are over-represented in distraction-related motor vehicle crashes. There are a number of potential reasons for such elevated risk with driving inexperience, high adoption of communication technology, increased peer involvement and tendency to take risks, rendering young drivers particularly vulnerable. Major legislative efforts in Graduated Licensing Systems that include passenger restrictions have shown positive effects. Restrictions on cell phone use are also being introduced however enforcement of such regulations is challenging. This paper argues that such contextual, legislative interventions are an essential prevention strategy however there is an unfilled need to introduce behavior change programs that may target adolescents, parents and friends. A theoretical framework is applied in which risk and protective factors are identified from research within community and jurisdiction contexts. In the literature on distraction social context and normative influences are the key elements used to inform program design for adolescent drivers with parental monitoring informing interventions targeting parents. Following from this assessment of the message content assessment, the design of strategies to deliver the messages are reviewed. In the current literature, school-based programs, simulations and web-delivered programs have been evaluated with supplementary strategies delivered by physicians and parents. Such developments are still at an early stage of development and ultimately will need controlled implementation and evaluation studies. There is of course, no likely single approach to prevent adolescent driver distraction and complementary approaches such as the further development of technological interventions to manage phone use are needed.

Implications and Contributions

The paper describes the intervention design process alongside key research in young driver distraction including selecting target behavior, audience, theoretically-derived strategies and delivery strategies. Currently graduated driver licensing and technology use and acceptance and parent-adolescent and adolescent-peer interactions are opportunities for further research and exploration.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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6 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 75590
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: distraction, adolescent, behavior change, program design
DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.12.021
ISSN: 1054-139X
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Adolescent Health. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Adolescent Health, [VOL 54, ISSUE 5, (2014)] DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.12.021
Deposited On: 02 Sep 2014 23:29
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2015 11:52

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