The Center is working with the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to reduce fatal single-vehicle run-off-the-road (SV-ROR) crashes in Idaho using the Positive Community Norms framework. After analyzing data in Idaho’s Crash Database, the team elected to focus on one of the leading contributing factors to these crashes: alcohol impairment. The challenge was to identify a media-based strategy that would effectively address this problem and reach the target audience. While very few people engage in impaired driving, those that do tend to drink regularly and at high levels.
In partnership with ITD, the team elected to address the problem by seeking to foster bystander engagement to stop impaired driving in Idaho. This approach leverages the strong positive norms that already exist around this issue (most people believe it is wrong, most people do NOT drive after drinking, and most people support strong enforcement of impaired driving) to help impact the small minority of individuals who engage in this risky behavior.
The Center developed a model based on the theory of planned behavior to predict bystander engagement to prevent someone from driving after drinking. Partnering with the University of Idaho, the team implemented a statewide community survey and validated the model with the results of the survey. The model was then used to inform messaging to increase bystander engagement, including a pilot implementation of the strategy in three communities in Idaho. The goal is to transform how communities approach impaired driving and leverage the strong positive norms surrounding this issue.