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DOT HS 809 193

December 2000


Evaluation of Female Driver Responses
to Impaired Driving Messages


Final Report



Printed copies of this report are available from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22161.


This publication is distributed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the interest of information exchange. The opinions, findings and conclusions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and nor necessarily those of the Department of Transportation or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The United States Government assumes no liability for its content or use thereof. If trade or manufacturer's names or products are mentioned, it is because they are considered essential to the object of the publication and should not be construed as an endorsement. The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.
DOT HS 809-193
2. Government Accession No.
3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Evaluation of Female Driver Responses to Impaired Driving Messages

5. Report Date
December 2000
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Douglas Piper and Valerie Nelkin
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
8201 Corporate Drive, Suite 220
Landover, Maryland 20785

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Office of Research and Traffic Records
Research and Evaluation Division
400 7th Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report
June 1999 - June 2000
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes


16. Abstract

This study explored young women's perceptions of impaired driving messages. Six focus groups were conducted in the Washington, DC area and six groups were conducted in Madison, Wisconsin. The 94 participants averaged 26 years of age, drove regularly, and had drunk alcohol in the past month. A guided discussion covered their driving and drinking behaviors and attitudes, plus their general views on the media. They then rated thirteen public service announcements (PSAs) in three mediums: video, radio, and print. By far, television was preferred over other mediums. The data analysis showed that women were most affected by emotional appeals, graphic images of negative consequences, PSAs depicting realistic situations, and those in which they could identify with the characters. Authoritative messages were rejected by the participants, especially the youngest women. Using celebrities in these messages was not viewed as effective. Humor in PSAs was seen positively by some participants and negatively by others. The data indicate that impaired driving messages targeting young women would be more effective if they were tailored for them.

17. Key Words

Drinking, driving, impaired driving, DWI,
female drivers, media messages

18. Distribution Statement

This document is available to the public
from the National Technical Information Service,
Springfield, VA 22161

19. Security Classif. (of this report)
20. Security Classif. (of this page)
21. No. of Pages
22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

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