Abstract [from journal]
Introduction: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of adolescent death. Inattention to the roadway contributes to crash risk. The objective of this study was to deploy an initial study of a web-based intervention (Let's Choose Ourselves) designed to improve adolescent driver attention to the roadway.
Methods: We used a randomized controlled trial design in a sample of adolescent drivers to test if a web-based intervention decreased cell phone engagement in driving simulation at 3 months as compared with controls. As secondary hypotheses, we tested if the intervention increased the use of peer passengers to manage distractions and decreased eyes off the forward roadway in driving simulation and decreased self-reported risky driving behaviors. Adolescents, aged 16-17 years, licensed for ≤90 days were randomized to Let's Choose Ourselves with distractions in the simulator protocol at baseline, Let's Choose Ourselves with no distractions, an attention control intervention on healthy eating with distractions, or attention control with no distractions. We used Poisson regression modeling to test the primary and secondary hypotheses.
Results: The trial included 60 adolescents (66.7% female, 78.3% non-Hispanic white subjects, mean age 16.8 years, licensed 50.8 days). In Poisson regression, controlling for sex, we found no significant effects of Let's Choose Ourselves on primary or secondary outcomes. However, there was a significant effect of visit on self-report outcomes, with self-reported distracted driving behaviors increasing over time.
Discussion: Although there were no significant effects of Let's Choose Ourselves, self-reported risky driving behaviors increased over time. Further investigation of the relationship between driving experience and increasing inattention to the road in adolescents is warranted.