Background: 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.
Methods: 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 evaluation). 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.
Results: 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%). Our survey found 61% of respondents used handheld CPWD (14% all of the time) with 80% reporting our movie trailer made them think twice about future CPWD. A stakeholder survey and spatial analysis targeted our 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 our campaign, 17% from our 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).
Conclusion: 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.
Stewart, T. C., Edwards, J., Penney, A., Gilliland, J., Clark, A., Haidar, T., … & Parry, N. G. (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: