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Awarded Research Grant to Prevent Unintentional Injuries

Reducing Youthful Dangerous Driving

FOA Number: CE05-022 - Grants to Prevent Unintentional Injury
Project Period: 9/1/05-8/31/08
Application/Grant Number: 1-R49-CE000544-01
Principal Investigator: Ted Nirenberg, PhD
Injury Prevention Center
RI Hospital/POB 3rd Floor, Rm 334
593 Eddy Street
Providence, RI 02903


Motor vehicle crashes (MVC) are the most prevalent causes of fatalities among 16 to 20 year olds. To date, interventions to reduce driving offenses have had an unknown impact on adolescent drivers.

This study will test whether reducing youthful dangerous driving (RYDD) (trauma room exposure with motivational interviewing) in comparison to Prototypic Community Service (PCS) will change attitudes toward risky driving behaviors post treatment; reduce alcohol use and high-risk driving behaviors at 6 month follow-up; reduce driving offenses at 12 month follow-up; and reduce the number of MVCs at 24 month follow-up. Court-mandated youth (n=500) convicted of a high-risk driving offense are randomly assigned to one of two 16-hour program interventions (RYDD or PCS) and followed for one to two years. Subsequent infractions are measured through a combination of court records and self-report. To facilitate the dissemination of the RYDD program, the investigators will determine for whom it works best (Aim 2) and how it works (Aim 3) by examining a number of proposed mediators and moderators. Positive results from this study would be embraced by state and national leaders within the judicial and traffic safety communities and implemented in other courts to strengthen efforts to reduce MVCs among young drivers.