Proceedings of the 24th World International Traffic Medicine Association Congress, Qatar 2015
  • EISSN: 2223-0440


Introduction: Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people, aged 15-29 years (1). It is generally accepted that the high rate of adolescent injuries may be due to a variety of factors. Studies have shown young drivers are more likely to underestimate the probability of specific risks caused by traffic situations, as well as to overestimate their own driving skills making them more vulnerable to trauma. It has also been hypothesized that adolescents are more prone to motor vehicle collisions due to their risk-taking attitudes (2). There is consensus among experts in the field of road safety that the best road safety strategies and programs are based on research-driven and psycho-social theories of behavior (3). The P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) Program is one of those programs. Developed in 1986, P.A.R.T.Y. is a one day, in hospital injury awareness and prevention program for youth aged 15 and older. The goal is to provide young people with information about trauma that will enable them to recognize their injury risks, make prevention-oriented choices and adopt behaviours that minimize unnecessary risks through vivid clinical reality. Attitudes towards risk taking in traffic have been correlated with aggressive driving behavior, speeding, and intention to commit traffic law violations. Thus, an effective intervention to increase road safety may be to change the attitudes that influence the driving behavior of adolescents. This is consistent with the cognitive dissonance theory, which states that changing the beliefs that underlie certain behaviors can cause a behavioral change (2). From these theories, one can expect that changing the risk taking attitudes of adolescents can lead to a decrease in the probability of collisions. A recent meta-analysis suggested interventions aimed at influencing attitudes might be the most effective measure to improve safety on the roads (2). Methods: Several research studies have been undertaken to determine effectiveness and changes in attitudinal risk behavior from youth attending the P.A.R.T.Y. A ten-year longitudinal study was conducted to determine whether students who attended P.A.R.T.Y. had a reduction in injuries compared with a matched control group of students based on age, gender and geographic area who did not attend the program. Students follow the course of injury from occurrence through transport, treatment, rehabilitation and community re-integration phases. Additionally by augmenting a didactic format through a technologically innovative approach including but not limited to vivid clinical reality, social media, interactive websites and simulators we see attitudinal and behavioural changes. Results: The 10 year longitudinal study showed P.A.R.T.Y. participants had a lower incidence of traumatic injuries than a control group of non-P.A.R.T.Y. participants of the same age, gender, residential area, and initial year in database, during the 10-year study (4). Conclusion: Research-driven, psycho-social theories of behavior and technologically innovative approaches have proven it is possible to influence behavior through the delivery of well-designed and well-executed road safety strategies, programs and campaigns. Providing students with real-life education to depict the vivid clinical reality of injuries was shown to be a compelling and effective method of education. References 1. Road safety basic facts. World Health Organization. 2013 [cited July 28, 2015]. Available from:http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/publications/road_traffic/Road_safety_media_brief_full_document.pdf 2. Pal Ulleberg, T.R., Risk-taking attitudes among young drivers: The psychometric qualities and imensionality of an instrument to measure young drivers' risk-taking attitudes. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 2002. 43(3): p. 227-237. 3. Road Safety Campaigns: What the research tells us. Traffic Injury Research Foundation.2015 [cited July 7, 2015]. Available from: http://www.tirf.ca/publications/PDF_publications/2015_RoadSafetyCampaigns_Report_2.pdf 4. Banfield JM, Gomez M, Kiss A, Redelmeier DA, Brenneman F. Effectiveness of the P.A.R.T.Y. (prevent alcohol and risk-related trauma in youth) program in preventing traumatic injuries: A 10-year analysis. J Trauma. 2011 Mar;70(3):732-5.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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