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249 Alaska young driver safety: distracted driving, seat belt use and drinking and driving interventions
  1. Shannon Savage1,
  2. Marcia Howell2,
  3. Brian Saylor2,
  4. Rhonda Johnson1,
  5. Elizabeth Hodges Snyder1
  1. 1University of Alaska, Anchorage, USA
  2. 2Alaska Injury Prevention Centre, USA


Background United States teenagers have the highest crash rate of any group in the nation. Alaska data tell a similar story. Leading causes of crashes for Alaska teen drivers are: driver inattention, unsafe speed, failure to yield and driver inexperience (Alaska Injury Prevention Centre, 2012). In partnership with the Alaska Injury Prevention Centre, a resource guide was created, listing best practices in Alaska teen driving interventions connected to three areas: distracted driving, seat belt use and drinking and driving.

Methods Guide content was evaluated for alignment with best practice through a multi-step filtering process. Available literature was distilled down to a final collection of safe teen driving intervention strategies based on best-available evidence. Results were categorised into a taxonomy of approaches, and were classified into levels of promise associated with certainty of effectiveness and potential population impact.

Results Strategies found to be most promising included public policy efforts surrounding graduated drivers’ licensing programs, a minimum legal drinking age of 21, cell phone restrictions while driving and seat belt requirements. In addition, community and parental roles of partnerships, boundary setting and monitoring teens’ driving behaviours, were found to have equal levels of promise. Of significance was the importance of intervention strategies with diverse influences, including all levels of the Social Ecological Model.

Conclusions The developed process can be used as an effective model when synthesising large amounts of data, and can work in a variety of study areas to help practitioners understand complex research and guide them in their intervention choices. Resulting recommendations included 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 use.

  • Arctic Safety
  • child and adolescent safety
  • transport safety
  • Alaska

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