Effectiveness Of A Brief Parent-Directed Teen Driver Safety Intervention

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Journal of Adolescent Health 53 (2013) 27e33

Original article

Effectiveness of a Brief Parent-Directed Teen Driver Safety Intervention
(Checkpoints) Delivered by Driver Education Instructors
Jennifer S. Zakrajsek, M.S., M.P.H. a, *, Jean T. Shope, Ph.D., M.S.P.H. a,
Arlene I. Greenspan, Dr.P.H., M.P.H. b, Jing Wang, Ph.D. c, C. Raymond Bingham, Ph.D. a, and Bruce G. Simons-Morton, Ed.D., M.P.H. c a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Atlanta, Georgia c Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland b Article history: Received June 25, 2012; Accepted December 21, 2012
Keywords: Checkpoints; Driver education; Driving restrictions; Parent management practices; Teen driving risk; Brief group intervention See Related Editorial p. 3


Background: The Checkpoints program (Checkpoints) uses a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement
(PTDA) to help parents monitor teens’ driving, and has shown efficacy in increasing parental restrictions on teens’ driving and decreasing teens’ risky driving. In previous trials, research staff administered Checkpoints. This study examined the effectiveness of Checkpoints when delivered by driver educators. It was hypothesized that Checkpoints would result in more PTDA use, greater
PTDA limits on higher risk driving situations, and less high-risk driving.
Methods: Eight trained driving instructors were randomly assigned to intervention or control groups in a group randomized trial. Instructors enrolled 148 parent-teen dyads (intervention ¼ 99, control ¼
49); 35% of those eligible. Intervention parents joined teens for a 30-minute Checkpoints session during driver education. The session included a video, persuasive messages, discussion, and PTDA initiation. Teens completed four surveys: baseline, licensure, and 3- and 6-months post-licensure.
Results: Intervention teens were more likely to report that they used a PTDA (OR¼ 15.92, p ¼ .004) and had restrictions on driving with teen passengers (OR ¼ 8.52, p ¼ .009), on weekend nights (OR ¼ 8.71, p ¼ .021), on high-speed roads (OR ¼ 3.56, p ¼ .02), and in bad weather (b ¼ .51, p ¼ .05) during the first six months of licensure. There were no differences in offenses or crashes at six months, but intervention teens reported less high-risk driving (p ¼ .04).
Conclusions: Although challenges remain to encourage greater parent participation, Checkpoints conducted by driver education instructors resulted in more use of PTDAs, greater restrictions on high-risk driving, and less high-risk driving. Including Checkpoints in driver education parent meetings/classes has potential to enhance teen driver safety.
Ó 2013 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. All rights reserved.

* Address correspondence to: Jennifer S. Zakrajsek, M.S., M.P.H., University of
Michigan Transportation Research Institute, 2901 Baxter Road, Ann Arbor, MI
E-mail address: jzak@umich.edu (J.S. Zakrajsek).


The Checkpoints program was shown in several previous studies to help parents adopt an agreement and set and monitor limits on teens’ early driving, reducing high-risk driving by teens. In the first practice-based Checkpoints trial, Checkpoints was successfully administered by driver education instructors within their curriculum, resulting in increased parent limits on high- risk teen driving and reduced teen risky driving.

Motor vehicle crash rates are higher for adolescent drivers than for any other age group [1], attributable to young age, driving inexperience, and risky behavior [2]. Crash risk is greatest during the first two driving years, is particularly elevated the first

1054-139X/$ e see front matter Ó 2013 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. All rights reserved. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.12.010 28