iRT develops innovative, research-based training and resources to promote safe driving using both individual and environmental prevention strategies.
Teenagers and young adults are especially at risk of impaired driving or riding with an impaired driver. For example, marijuana is the most commonly and increasingly used drug (other than alcohol) by teenagers and young adults, and it is the most commonly found drug in crash-involved and fatally injured drivers.
In addition, teenagers and young adults are most likely to drive while distracted, particularly while manipulating a handheld device. Also, young adult, particularly male, drivers are at higher risk of driving drowsy. Taken together, young drivers are a critical population to address with interventions to prevent impaired driving and promote safe driving.
Existing driver education and substance abuse prevention programs do not directly address the underlying knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to prevent impaired driving.
To compound the problem, regulations for driver education varies from state to state. In fact, only 6 states require a drug and alcohol awareness course for drivers under age 18 as a requirement of obtaining a license. Existing programs do little to address social norms, personal agency, and skills to prevent impaired driving.
Dr. Rebecca Stelter is a lead developer of both Plan My Ride and Drugged Driving Resources. To assess prevention professionals’ needs and evaluate these two programs, Dr. Stelter has led several grants to conduct research in this area. To inform the development of the Drugged Driving Resources program, Dr. Stelter conducted a survey of prevention professionals and what their specific needs were for resources in this area. After creating the Drugged Driving Resources program and doing some smaller scale studies of usability and feasibility, Dr. Stelter led a Randomized Controlled Trial evaluation. She and Dr. Schmidt are preparing to lead a Randomized Controlled Trial evaluation of the Plan My Ride program next year.
Dr. Allison Schmidt is the lead developer of Plan My Ride. To inform the development of evaluate the Drugged Driving Resources and Plan My Ride program, Dr. Schmidt has led several grants to conduct research in this area. She managed the Randomized Controlled Trial evaluation of the Drugged Driving Resources program and leads the Plan My Ride project with Dr. Stelter. Drs. Stelter and Schmidt are preparing to lead a Randomized Controlled Trial evaluation of the Plan My Ride program next year.
Dr. Janis Kupersmidt is a lead developer of Drugged Driving Resources and investigator on the Plan My Ride project. Dr. Kupersmidt has conducted research to inform the development of these programs, including a survey of prevention professionals and their needs, as well as evaluation studies of these programs.
Stelter, R. L. (2020, February). Preparing community leaders to prevent drug impaired driving. Invited presentation at the Drug Prevention Summit. Tampa, FL.
Stelter, R., Kupersmidt, J. B., & Schmidt, A. M. (2019, August). Drugged driving: Innovative community prevention strategies. Presented at: the North Carolina Traffic Safety Conference. Raleigh, NC.
Stelter, R., Kupersmidt, J. B., & Schmidt, A. M. (2018, July). Drugged driving: Innovative community prevention strategies. Presented at: Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Mid-Year Training Institute. Orlando, FL.
Stelter, R. L., Kupersmidt, J. B., & Schmidt, A. M. (2018, June). Using the strategic prevention framework to prevent drugged driving. Poster presented at the 2018 Society for Prevention Research. Washington, D.C.
Stelter, R. L., Kupersmidt, J. B., & Rabiner, S. (2014, September). Drugged driving research and prevention. Paper presented at the 2014 National Prevention Network Annual Conference: Seattle, WA.