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FHWA Home / Safety / Pedestrian & Bicycle / Final Detailed Findings Report for Marketing Plan and Outreach Materials

Final Detailed Findings Report for Marketing Plan and Outreach Materials that Promote Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety to Different Hispanic Populations in the United States

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Section 12. Traffic Safety in Communities of Color

12.1 Introduction

The authors examine research on traffic safety concerns for African-Americans, Latinos and American Indians. They focus on seat belt use, impaired driving and pedestrian safety.

12.2 Summary (copied from report abstract)

This paper examines the available research on how traffic safety issues specifically affect higher-risk communities of color, demonstrates that significant disparities in traffic safety outcomes exist between these groups and whites, and explores possible reasons for these differences. The paper focuses on three traffic safety issues that are associated with poorer outcomes among these communities of color: seat belt use, impaired driving, and pedestrian safety.

This paper highlights major traffic safety needs within specific communities of color, and concludes that ongoing data collection and analysis are necessary to provide a clearer, more complete picture of the issue as well as to inform interventions and efforts targeted toward these communities. More research is needed to understand past traffic safety successes (such as the decreases in impaired driving or increases in seat belt use that have occurred across ethnic groups) so that these successes can be extended. Similarly, evaluations of current interventions are greatly needed, particularly for comprehensive and longitudinal studies. Finally, there is also a need for research that distinguishes the effects of ethnicity versus the effects of socio economic status on traffic safety outcomes.

12.3 Questions answered

What are the best "media" for getting the messages across?

This report recommends comprehensive efforts that are culturally appropriate (for Latino communities, attention should be paid to language issues in addition to being family-oriented, highly personalized, and non-confrontational) and involve diverse partners (law enforcement, educators, city planners, media representatives, community leaders, physicians, national organizations such as NHTSA).

What types of messages are most likely to have the most impact?

One of the authors' recommendations is to develop culturally appropriate strategies. They cite the 1995 NHTSA report, Highway Safety Needs of U.S. Hispanic Communities, stating that traffic safety approaches should be family-oriented, highly personalized, and non-confrontational (p. 10).

Which Hispanic groups should be targeted and why? Which age groups of Hispanics should be targeted and why?

According to a study cited on page 6 of the report, "Latino children comprised 39% of the child population [in California], but 48% of all child pedestrian injuries and fatalities." One of the authors' recommendations is to target the highest-risk groups (p. 10), but they do not specify children or other age groups.

12.4 Outstanding questions

In what pedestrian and bicycle safety-related areas is communication with Hispanic audiences most needed?

The report does not address this question for pedestrian safety. The report does not address bicycle safety at all.

Should different cultural groups be targeted and why?

The report does not address this question for pedestrian safety.

Should materials be presented just in Spanish, or in English and Portuguese as well?

The report does not address these questions.

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Page last modified on January 31, 2013.
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