Drive in the Moment: An evaluation of a web-based tool designed to reduce smartphone use among young drivers

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Abstract

Objective: Young drivers are overrepresented in road traffic crashes and fatalities. Distracted driving, including use of a smartphone while driving (SWD), is a major risk factor for crashes for this age group. We evaluated a web-based tool (Drive in the Moment or DITM) designed to reduce SWD among young drivers. Methods: A pretest-posttest experimental design with a follow-up was used to assess the efficacy of the DITM intervention on SWD intentions and behaviors, and perceived risk (of having a crash and of being apprehended by the police) associated with SWD. One hundred and eighty young drivers (aged 17-25 years old) were randomly assigned to either the DITM intervention or a control group where participants completed an unrelated activity. Self-reported measures of SWD and perceptions of risk were obtained pre-intervention, immediately post-intervention and at a follow-up 25 days after the intervention. Results: Participants who engaged with the DITM showed a significant reduction in the number of times they used their SWD at follow-up compared to their pre-intervention scores. Future intentions to SWD were also reduced from pre-intervention to post-intervention and follow-up. There was also an increase in the perceived risk of SWD following the intervention. Conclusions: Our evaluation of DITM suggests that the intervention had an impact on reducing SWD among young drivers. Further research is needed to establish which particular elements of the DITM are associated with reductions in SWD and whether similar findings would be identified in other age groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-474
Number of pages9
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jun 2023

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