PW 0930 Evaluation of first impact—a missouri graduated driver license (GDL) traffic safety program for parents

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BackgroundFirst Impact is a 90 min evidence-based traffic safety program for parents of new drivers. The goal of the program is to reduce the number of motor vehicle fatalities, injuries and crashes among teen drivers by increasing parental awareness and enforcement of Missouri’s GDL law. The objectives of the program are to increase: 1) Awareness of teen driving risks, 2) Understanding of Missouri’s GDL law, 3) GDL monitoring and enforcement at home, and 4) Importance of being a positive role model. Trained facilitators who deliver the program statewide coach parents by presenting key facts and proven strategies to help parents lower their teens’ crash risk. First Impact is a program of ThinkFirst Missouri, an affiliate chapter of the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation. Primary funding for First Impact is provided by the Missouri Department of Transportation, Highway Safety and Traffic Division.PurposeThe purpose of this study was to evaluate the understanding of the Missouri GDL law before and after receiving the First Impact GDL parent program.MethodsPre-and post-test surveys were conducted during the pilot year of the First Impact intervention (12 month period, May 1, 2016-April 30, 2017). Participants included parents and teens attending the First Impact program (n=690). The majority (60%) of attendees were parents. A chi-square analysis was used to evaluate whether frequency of responses in the pre- and post-test groups were significantly different.ResultsThere was a significant (p<0.01) increase in each of the three components measured (understanding of GDL law, nighttime restrictions, and passenger restrictions).ConclusionBased on the change in attendee responses, the First Impact intervention produced a highly significant improvement in understanding three vital components of the GDL law. Results of this study indicate that First Impact is a promising intervention to increase the understanding of Missouri’s GDL law.

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