The Impact of an Educational Intervention on Distracted Driving Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Among College Students

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Journal of Community Health

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Distracted driving indiscriminately kills nearly 3500 people each year with young adults having greater risks associated with this phenomenon. Prevention programs targeting the distracted driving habits of young adults are necessary to ameliorate the high costs, both in dollars and in lives, associated with this behavior. Few health education and prevention programs have been assessed for their effectiveness in changing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to distracted driving. This study explores a distracted driving intervention among undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory public health course. A quasi-experimental study design was used to compare the pre- and post-data of the group receiving 5-weeks of a distracted driving intervention to a control group. Questionnaires were administered to both groups prior to and 2 weeks following the intervention to assess changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to distracted driving. A Difference-in-Difference technique showed significant changes in knowledge (β = 0.40, p = 0.03) and total scores (β = 2.48, p = 0.04) in the intervention (n = 97) compared to the control (n = 131). T-tests examining pre- and post-scores for individual behaviors showed the intervention group displayed positive changes for some behaviors (talking, texting, cellphone use, grooming) compared to the control. The results support the impact that a classroom-based distracted driving intervention can have on undergraduate college students. Implications for this type of health education program may lead to improvements in distracted driving attitudes and behavior among this age-group.


Public Health Education and Promotion



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