Reach Diverse Populations Across GDL Continuum: How to Connect Researchers, Stakeholders, and Programs?

August 12, 2014

In a recent post, I talked about the findings from our randomized controlled trial evaluating the TeenDrivingPlan (TDP), a web-based intervention for parent practice supervisors. The initial results appeared in three peer-reviewed publications:
1) JAMA Pediatrics (TDP’s main effect on driver performance),
2) Journal of Adolescent Health (how TDP works), and 3) Injury Prevention (how TDP was used by families). TDP increased parent engagement as practice supervisors, practice variety, parent support of teens, and, most importantly, teens’ driving skill.

Along with other researchers and stakeholders, we’re building a movement to improve road traffic safety by focusing on how teens learn to drive. We all want youth to grow to their full potential, but doing so will require marrying proven effective skill-building and risk-reduction interventions across the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) continuum and making them broadly accessible through programs for diverse populations.

In a recent JAMA Pediatrics editorial, Corinne Peek-Asa, PhD, Daniel V. McGehee, PhD, and Beth E. Ebel, MD challenge us to identify the “sweet spots” that will help us effectively reach the largest population of families possible: “As the evidence base grows, translation and cost-effectiveness studies that examine the impact of crash risk in real-world settings are needed.”

I couldn’t agree more. However, achieving this goal will require making connections with like-minded stakeholder groups from different sectors. Collaboration between researchers and stakeholders is essential. Making these connections will establish a sustainable platform to provide families with the necessary guidance and support to reduce the occurrence of motor vehicle crashes caused by teen drivers. Designing evidenced-based interventions that complement each phase of GDL was the first step. Testing their combined effectiveness in the real world and figuring out how to share these tools with various populations is next.

How do you think we can make these connections?