Date of Award

Summer 8-11-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Emily Graybill

Second Advisor

Professor John Steward

Abstract

Motor vehicle crashes have demonstrated to be one of the leading causes of death and unintentional injury within the United States (Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2020). Of the 5,891,000 motor vehicle crashes that occur each year, approximately 21% of these crashes are weather-related (Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 2020). The population most impacted by motor vehicle crashes within the United States is teens, who are three times more likely to experience crashes than adults (CDC, 2020). To better understand driving behaviors used by early adults, the current study examined defensive driving behaviors implemented by collegiate students to prevent motor vehicle collisions. The purpose of the study was to investigate the driving behaviors of college students during adverse weather conditions. Undergraduate students were recruited, and participants anonymously recorded their responses to questions assessing their driving behavior. The results suggested that students avoid driving in the car in adverse weather (e.g., fog, rain, or ice), but they do not avoid driving during night conditions. Implications of the results are that adverse weather conditions are likely to be avoided by GSUSPH students and all motor vehicle drivers, thus encouraging the public health community to continue designing and implementing developed road strategies to promote driver safety.

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