Evaluating traffic informers: Testing the behavioral and social-cognitive effects of an adolescent bicycle safety education program

Hans Feenstra, Robert A. C. Ruiter, Gerjo Kok*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

In The Netherlands, 12-24 years old are over-represented in the total number of traffic fatalities and injuries. In this study, the traffic informer program - designed to promote safe traffic behavior in the pre-driver population - was experimentally evaluated, with a specific focus on bicycle use. Students were subjected to graphic videos of traffic accidents and listened to a first-person narrative provided by a traffic accident victim. The influence of the program on concepts derived from the theory of planned behavior and protection motivation theory (attitudes, norms, self-efficacy, risk-perception, intention and behavior) was assessed. Students from various schools (N = 1593; M age = 15 years, SD = .84) participated in a quasi-experimental study, either in an experimental or a control group, completing self-report questionnaires one week prior to the program implementation and approximately one month after the program implementation. Mixed regression analyses showed significant positive and negative time x intervention interaction effects on attitude toward traffic violations, relative attitude toward traffic safety, and risk comparison, but not on intention and behavior. More research is needed to find effective behavioral change techniques (other than increasing risk awareness) for promoting safe traffic behavior in adolescents. Research is also needed to address how these can be translated into effective interventions and educational programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-295
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Volume73
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Cycling
  • Risk communication
  • Intervention
  • Road safety education
  • Risk behavior

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