Injury prevention programs against distracted driving: Are they effective?

Bellal A Joseph, Bardiya Zangbar, Sandeep Bains, Narong Kulvatunyou, Mazhar Khalil, Dalal Mahmoud, Randall S Friese, Terence S Okeeffe, Viraj Pandit, Peter M Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction: Distracted driving (talking and/or texting) is a growing public safety problem, with increasing incidence among adult drivers. The aim of this study was to identify the incidence of distracted driving (DD) among health care providers and to create awareness against DD. We hypothesized that distracted driving is prevalent among health care providers and a preventive campaign against distracted driving would effectively decrease distracted driving among health care providers. Methods: We performed a 4-phase prospective interventional study of all health care providers at our level 1 trauma center. Phase 1: one week of pre-intervention observation; phase 2: one week of intervention; phase 3: one week of postintervention observation; and phase 4: one week of 6 months of postintervention observation. Observations were performed outside employee parking garage at the following time intervals: 6:30–8:30 a.m., 4:40–5:30 p.m., and 6:30–7:30 p.m. Intervention included an e-mail survey, pamphlets and banners in the hospital cafeteria, and a postintervention survey. Hospital employees were identified with badges and scrubs, employees exiting through employee gate, and parking pass on the car. Outcome measure was incidence of DD pre, post, and 6 months postintervention. Results: A total of 15,416 observations (pre: 6,639, post: 4,220, 6 months post: 4,557) and 520 survey responses were collected. The incident of DD was 11.8% among health care providers. There was a significant reduction in DD in each time interval of observation between pre- and postintervention. On subanalysis, there was a significant decrease in talking (P =.0001) and texting (P =.01) while driving postintervention compared to pre-intervention. In the survey, 35.5% of respondents admitted to DD and 4.5% respondents were involved in an accident due to DD. We found that 77% respondents felt more informed after the survey and 91% respondents supported a state legislation against DD. The reduction in the incidence of DD postintervention was sustained even at 6-month follow-up. Conclusion: There was a 32% reduction in the incidence of distracted driving postintervention, which remained low even at 6-month follow-up. Implementation of an effective injury prevention campaign could reduce the incidence of distracted driving nationally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-464
Number of pages5
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 3 2016


  • distracted driving; educational campaign; texting and driving; talking and driving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Injury prevention programs against distracted driving: Are they effective?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this