New Study Explores the Evaluation of a Population Health Strategy to Reduce Distracted Driving: Examining All “Es” of Injury Prevention
A team of researchers consisting of Tanya Charyk Stewart, Jane Edwards, Alyssa Penny, Jason Gilliland, Andrew Clark, Tania Haidar, Brandon Batey, Amanda Pfeffer, Douglas D. Fraser, Neil H. Merritt, and Neil G. Parry published a study entitled: “Evaluation of a Population Health Strategy to Reduce Distracted Driving: Examining All “Es” of Injury Prevention.”
Cell phone use while driving (CPWD) increases the risk of crashing and is a major contributor to injuries and deaths. The objective of this study was to describe the evaluation of a multifaceted, evidence-based population health strategy for the reduction of distracted driving. To study this a multipronged campaign was undertaken from 2014 to 2016 for 16- to 44-year-olds, based on epidemiology, focused on personal stories and consequences, using the “Es” of injury prevention (epidemiology, education, environment, enforcement, and evalua- tion). Education consisted of distracted driving videos, informational cards, a social media AdTube campaign, and a movie theater trailer, which were evaluated with a questionnaire regarding CPWD attitudes, opinions, and behaviors. Spatial analysis of data within a geographic information system was used to target advertisements. A random sample telephone survey evaluated public awareness of the campaign. Increased CPWD enforcement was undertaken by police services and evaluated by ARIMA time series modeling.
The AdTube campaign had a view rate of >10% (41,101 views), slightly higher for females. The top performing age group was 18- to 24-year-olds (49%). The survey found 61% of respondents used handheld CPWD (14% all of the time) with 80% reporting that the movie trailer made them think twice about future CPWD. A stakeholder survey and spatial analysis targeted the advertisements in areas of close proximity to high schools, universities, near intersections with previous motor vehicle collisions, high traffic volumes, and population density. A telephone survey revealed that 41% of the respondents were aware of the campaign, 17% from the print and movie theater ads and 3% from social media. Police enforcement campaign blitzes resulted in 160 tickets for CPWD. Following campaign implementation, there was a statistically significant mean decrease of 462 distracted driving citations annually (p = 0.001).
To conclude, it was determined that a multifaceted, evidence-based population health strategy using the Es of injury prevention with interdisciplinary collaboration is a comprehensive method to be used for the reduction of distracted driving.
Citation: Tanya Charyk Stewart, Jane Edwards, Alyssa Penny, Jason Gilliland, Andrew Clark, Tania Haidar, Brandon Batey, Amanda Pfeffer, Douglas D. Fraser, Neil H. Merritt and Neil G. Parry (2021). “Evaluation of a Population Health Strategy to Reduce Distracted Driving: Examining All “Es” of Injury Prevention.” Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 90(3), 535-543; doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000002948