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080 A method for evaluating parent-teen conversations about potential roadway hazards
  1. Elizabeth O’Neal,
  2. Jodie Plumert,
  3. Corinne Peek-Asa
  1. University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA


Statement of Purpose Parents play a substantial role in driver training, yet few studies have examined these interactions. This study examines parent-teen communication about hazard anticipation in response to virtual environment scenarios.

Methods/Approach Participants include teens in the learner phase of licensure and their parent. The study takes place in two parts. First, teens and parents independently view 12 videos that depict a roadway hazard unfolding on a large monitor. Each is then asked to identify the key event they should anticipate to avoid the hazard. Unlike teens, parents receive feedback about their answer choices. Following the independent task, parents and teens view the videos together. Without parental input, teens indicate when they first identify the roadway hazard via a button press and select what they believe they should first anticipate. This provides parents with a clear understanding of their teen’s hazard perception skill. Parents and teens then re-watch and discuss the video before deciding together what triggered the hazard. Parent-teen interactions are recorded for later coding.

Results Based on preliminary evaluation of the parent-teen interactions, several themes have emerged that will guide the development of a more formal coding scheme. Themes include parents’ attempts to help teens anticipate potential roadway hazards (e.g., ‘You can’t see past that truck. Someone could dart out.’), teaching teens to use other drivers’ behavior as a clue for where to attend, providing prospective mitigation measures, and reviewing rules of the road. The final presentation will detail the full coding scheme and themes.

Conclusion Unlike previous naturalistic studies of parent-teen driving interactions, the present study captures these interactions in their entirety across numerous hazard scenarios.

Significance Findings from the current study will guide a parent-focused, teen-driving intervention that aims to help parents teach teens to anticipate roadway hazards prior to independent driving.

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