United States teenagers have the highest crash rate of any group in the nation. The data tell us
that there are eight identified leading causes of teen injuries and deaths associated with vehicle
collisions: Driver inexperience; driving with teen passengers; nighttime driving; not using seat
belts; distracted driving; drowsy driving; reckless driving; and impaired driving (CDC, 2014).
Alaska data tell a similar story. The leading causes of crashes for Alaskan teen drivers are: driver
inattention, unsafe speed, failure to yield and driver inexperience (Alaska Injury Prevention Center,
In partnership with the Alaska Injury Prevention Center, this practicum project created a
resource guide identifying best practices in teen driving interventions connected to three of these
areas: distracted driving, seat belt use and drinking and driving. The Strategies to Support Safe Teen
Driving in Alaska resource guide is intended as a tool for community partners to access information
about interventions for distracted driving, seat belt use and drinking and driving for Alaska teens
and to work to put those interventions into action in their local communities.
Project research efforts included a synthesis review of available intervention reports, including
a multi-step filtering process that distilled available program literature down to a final collection of
strategies based on best available evidence. These resulting strategies were categorized into a
taxonomy identifying currently available approaches, and were also classified into levels of promise
associated with certainty of effectiveness and potential population impact.
Upon evaluation of intervention types within a Promise Table structure, the strategies found to
be most promising were all public policy efforts surrounding graduated drivers’ licensing
programs, a minimum legal drinking age at 21, cell phone restrictions while driving and seat belt
requirements. In addition, the community role of creating partnerships to prevent unsafe teen
driving behaviors, as well as the parental role of boundary setting and monitoring their teen’s
driving behavior, were found to have equal levels of promise. Of most significance was the finding
identifying the importance of executing teen driving strategies with diverse influences, including all
levels of the Social Ecological Model’s influence (i.e. public policy, community, organizational,
interpersonal and intrapersonal).
Additional priority areas included attention to matters of community culture, public policy,
enforcement and parental influence. Resulting recommendations include multiple public policy
enhancements in the state of Alaska, including graduated driver’s license program modifications,
enhancement of the state’s zero-tolerance policy and broad scale restrictions of driver cell-phone
Presented to the Faculty
of the University of Alaska Anchorage
in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements
for the Degree of
MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Table of Contents
Signature Page / Title Page / Abstract / Table of Contents / List of Figures / List of Tables / List of Appendices / Introduction / Background and Significance / Project Goal and Objectives / Methods / Results / Discussion, Strengths and Limitations / Conclusions and Recommendations / References / Appendices
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