This research will develop, implement, and evaluate a pilot program in East Tennessee which combines increased targeted, nighttime seatbelt use enforcement and broad community-based outreach &education (O&E) activities. It will focus on the 13-34 year age group. It will also assess how such interventions affect road safety behaviors, as well as other driver characteristics / risk factors for traffic crashes and morbidity and mortality due to such crashes. These are also significant from quality of life and individual and societal costs perspectives. The research will build upon successful initiatives and practices documented. Sound statistical analysis and epidemiological study methods will be used for experiment design, analyses of data, and interpretation of results. Sample stratification and sample size will be determined to support statistically significant inferences. Before-and-after studies and control group based studies will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. The research questions will be addressed through examinations of both stated behaviors and revealed behaviors pertaining to seatbelt usage and related motor vehicle safety activities and their outcomes. It will leverage existing programs and activities, and develop innovative strategies to maximize the effectiveness of investments in nighttime enforcement activities and related O&E activities. Key stakeholders, collaborators, and partners include state and local law enforcement agencies, departments of transportation, the food and beverage industry, local high schools, colleges, and universities, organized clubs and Greek communities, and religious groups. The outcomes will be evaluated using qualitative and quantitative measures related to stated and observed behaviors. They will address the impacts of the enforcement and O&E strategies on daytime and nighttime seatbelt use, motor vehicle morbidity and mortality;effectiveness of individual and combined intervention elements &O&E strategies;citations issued for other motor vehicle operations related infractions and violations that are potential road safety indicators such as driving when impaired, """"""""penetration"""""""" and recognition among the target population of O&E strategies, perceptions of the effectiveness of O&E strategies, cost effectiveness of enforcement and O&E strategies. These will advance the state-of the knowledge and the state-of-the-practice in our understanding of how to effect behavioral changes to enhance road safety. It will inform future campaigns and guide investments across various settings at the regional and national scales so reduce preventable injuries and fatalities and their outcomes on individual and societal health and well-being.

Public Health Relevance

This research will develop, implement, and evaluate the traffic safety impacts of increased nighttime seatbelt use enforcement and broad community-based outreach &education activities. It will evaluate how such efforts affect daytime and nighttime seatbelt usage rates, and driving while impaired. The goal is to improve public health and well-being by reducing risk factors for traffic crashes and injuries, fatalities, and related impacts frm crashes.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCE1)
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University of Tennessee Knoxville
Biomed Engr/Col Engr/Engr Sta
United States
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