Appendix B: Focus Group Questions

Focus Group Questions

Introduction of Focus Group

  • Purpose
  • Confidentiality of responses
  • Participant driving experience ( # of months/years)
  • Participant traffic safety experience (citations or crash involvement)


  • How long have each of you been driving? (screening questions will limit participation to teens with either a driver's license or a learner's permit)

  • How would you rate your driving ability?

  • Has anyone been involved in a traffic crash (as a driver or as a passenger)?

  • If yes, please describe the circumstances.

  • If no, have any of your friends or family been involved in a crash?

  • Has anyone been issued a traffic citation? If yes, what was it for?

Unsafe Driving Behaviors

General Questions:

  • What do you consider to be the most dangerous driving behavior? (Ask individuals to make a list in order of riskiness.)

  • Why do you believe it to be so dangerous?

  • Why do you think people practice this behavior?

  • How often have you practiced this behavior?

  • What other behaviors do you think are very dangerous?

  • Why are they dangerous?

  • Why do you think people practice this behavior?

Specific Behavior Questions

  • If not already mentioned, how dangerous is driving with someone who has been drinking?

  • Has anyone ever found themselves in that situation?

  • How did you feel? ( Normal ? Scared about having a crash? Scared about getting stopped?)

  • If not already mentioned, how dangerous is not wearing a safety belt?

  • Being completely honest, how many wear safety belts every time you are in a car?

  • How many wear safety belts sometimes? What prompts you to buckle up?

  • If not already mentioned, what do you think about exceeding the speed limit?

  • How fast do you usually drive in relation to the speed limit?

  • When does speeding become dangerous?

  • Has anyone ever been really sleepy when you were driving?

  • Please describe the circumstances (Time of day, Why sleepy? What did it feel like? Did you do anything to wake up?)

  • Who has driven a car with a group of friends?

  • Does this affect your ability to concentrate on driving?

  • Has anyone had any bad experiences driving with a group of friends?

  • Has anyone had any close calls talking on a cell phone or changing CDs while driving? Please describe.

  • What is meant by the term “tailgating?”

  • What do you consider to be a safe following distance? (Not the answer in the Driver's Manual?)

  • Have any of you been involved in drag racing? Any of your friends?

  • Would you classify drag racing as relatively dangerous or relatively safe?

Motivations for Changing Behavior Questions

  • When you think about being involved in a car crash, what emotions are triggered?

  • Let's talk about fear – what scares you most about being involved in a car crash? (death, injury, disfigurement, hurting friends, hurting family, increased insurance cost, loss of driving privilege etc.)

  • What impact do you think a serious crash would have on your life – if you were the driver?

  • Let's think about the behaviors we were talking about – which of these do you think are the most likely to lead to a crash eventually? Why? (review behaviors if needed)

  • Does this affect your likelihood of continuing this behavior?

  • What else might cause you to change your driving behavior?

Message Concepts

  • Let's pretend that you were responsible for making your friends better drivers -- what would you do to get them to stop (insert the most dangerous behaviors the group identified).

  • Let's focus on the things you would say to your friend
    • For riding with someone who had been drinking
    • For speeding
    • For drowsy driving
    • For driving with a group of friends
    • For following too closely

  • What safe driving messages have you heard? (Generate a list )

  • Be honest – What do you think of them ?

  • If you had the opportunity to design a campaign to get teen drivers in your community to stop (insert most dangerous behavior group identified) what should the message be? (concept not exact words)

Delivery Mechanism Questions

  • Please write down your three favorite Web sites.

  • How many of you use Instant Messaging to talk with your friends?

  • Show slide of Instant Messaging Info page - ask if anyone recognizes it.

  • Has anyone ever clicked on a link on this page? What types of links are you likely to follow?

  • Distribute a list of possible delivery mechanism categories (magazines, radio stations, celebrity, sports figure, Web site ,technology provider (cell phone provider) local official (e.g. Police, school teacher, politician) and ask participant to identify any they think would be a good source of traffic safety information.

  • Think about the campaign you could design to change the driving behavior of teens in your community. How should the message be delivered?

  • What could you do to make the whole idea more exciting, more convincing, more effective?

Summary Question

  • Given everything we have talked about tonight, is there anything that would convince you to be a more careful driver?