Multimedia Safe Driving Program for Adolescents

Period of Performance: 09/20/2000 - 08/31/2001

$525K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Inflexxion, Inc.
Newton, MA 02464
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This application proposes the development of a high school impaired driving prevention program called Accident Scene. This program combines an interactive CD-ROM, class activities, and parent-teenager exercises. The need for this product arises from increased alcohol and marijuana use and continued high risk driving in adolescents. Prevention and driving experts suggest that programs need to target sensation seeking adolescents, who are disproportionately involved in impaired driving episodes. To address this need, the current application combines state-of- the-art substance use prevention guidelines, developmental research related to impaired driving, and advances in multimedia technology to develop a practical tool for improving impaired driving prevention in high school students. The program will be delivered through an engaging format in which the user is placed in a virtual impaired driving accident. The user must explore the accident from different perspectives to learn more about the impaired driving. Phase I produced a technical plan for the CD-ROM, an annotated script, a design of the teacher and parent materials, and creation and usability testing of an Accident Scene demo. Phase II will address development and usability testing of a prototype CD- ROM, a field study with high school students, and student, parent, and teacher satisfaction. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The proposed program will provide targeted, computer-administered interventions to facilitate impaired driving prevention for adolescents. Despite the expansion of laws and penalties for impaired driving, prevention programs tailored to high risk adolescents have generally been unavailable or ineffective. This program could be marketed to school systems and local government agencies, but may also be of interest to insurance, automobile, and tire companies. Accident Scene, if shown to demonstrate efficacy, will be of enormous value in preventing impaired driving morbidity and mortality among high risk drivers. In addition, the commercial potential of such a program would be extraordinary.