Long-Term Evaluation of a Trauma Center-Based Juvenile Driving Intervention Program
Motor vehicle-related trauma remains the leading cause of adolescent injury and death in the United States. We previously reported results from the Drive Alive (DA) program-a comprehensive juvenile prevention program that highlights risky driving behavior and consequences-and demonstrated a reduction in recidivism 6 months after its completion. We further evaluated the results of the original and subsequent participants on along-term basis.
Bureau of Motor Vehicle records of all individuals who had completed the DA program were prospectively reviewed. This 4-week, Level I trauma center-based program provides 10 contact hours of exposure to mock trauma sessions, drug and alcohol education, former trauma patients and their families, state troopers and other pertinent driving safety, educational, and prevention topics. The County Juvenile Court ordered participation after driving-related convictions. The driving records were compared with a control group consisting of adolescents convicted of similar driving offenses in the same period, not referred to the DA program. Comparisons were made at 6 monthly intervals up to 60 months using Fischer's exact test.
A total of 488 teens (346 male and 142 female) completed the DA program between May 2003 and October 2008. Mean participant age was 17.4 years. Speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol were the most frequent reasons for referral.
Consistent with our prior results, this interactive intervention for juvenile driving offenders resulted in a statistically significant reduction in driving-related offenses for the 6-month periods after its completion. This effect is lost in the long term. The role of booster interventions at 6 months and beyond, as adjuncts to initial interventional prevention initiatives, needs to be explored to aid sustained positive effects in this population of drivers.
Ekeh, A. P.,
& McCarthy, M. C.
(2011). Long-Term Evaluation of a Trauma Center-Based Juvenile Driving Intervention Program. The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, 71 (1), 223-227.