U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


Skip to content
FacebookYouTubeTwitterFlickrLinkedIn

Safety

eSubscribe
eSubscribe Envelope

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

< Previous Table of Content Next >

Section 3. Hispanic Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety: Report of Focus Group Discussions in Washington, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles

3.1 Introduction

This report presents the results of eight focus groups with Hispanic bicyclists and pedestrians. A companion report, The Pedestrian and Bicyclist Highway Safety Problem As It Relates to the Hispanic Population in the United States, discusses the characteristics of fatal crashes in which Hispanic pedestrians and bicyclists were involved.

3.2 Executive Summary (copied from Executive Summary)

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) contracted with The Center for Applied Research (CAR) and its subcontractor The Media Network, Inc. (TMN) to conduct research related to Hispanic pedestrian and bicycle safety. As part of this research, TMN and CAR investigated crash statistics for this population group, made contacts to Hispanic organizations to collect information and build partnerships, and held eight (8) focus groups with Hispanic bicyclists and pedestrians. This research was designed to enable FHWA/NHTSA to better understand the attitudes and beliefs of Hispanics living in the U.S. concerning these issues. The results will allow FHWA/NHTSA to develop effective communication strategies and programs that will complement its existing information and services to promote safety and decrease fatalities and injuries among Hispanic bicyclists and pedestrians.

This report primarily presents results from the focus group portion of this research, although we briefly discuss the partnership-building component to add context. TMN facilitated eight (8) focus groups with adults in Washington, DC, New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Participants were Hispanic men and women, over the age of 18, who either walked or rode their bicycles regularly. Sixty-two (62) adults participated in these groups, twenty-eight (28) men and thirty-four (34) women. Three participants were born in the US; eleven were born in Puerto Rico. The remainder were born in other countries.

Table 2 shows the number of participants by age group.

Table 2. Number of Participants by Age Group
Age Group Number of Participants
18–29 11
30–39 16
40–49 14
50–59 11
60–69 6
70–79 3
80 and over 1

3.3 Summary

Of the 62 participants, 35 participated in the pedestrian safety focus groups and 27 participated in the bicycle safety focus groups. Each group was conducted in Spanish by a professional bilingual moderator. This report summarizes the focus group findings by topic (such as general awareness of traffic signs and regulations, differences in traffic between Latino countries and the U.S., etc.) and includes quotes from participants. The Appendix includes the moderator's guide and screening form in both English and Spanish.

3.4 Questions answered

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

What types of messages are most likely to have the most impact? What are the best "media" for getting the messages across? Could the messages be effectively promoted in specific locations frequented by Hispanics? Should the messages ultimately be delivered in newspaper or magazine ads? Would television ads be effective?

Participants in the pedestrian focus groups suggested that information be distributed via television, radio, public transit stations, commercials, soap operas, soccer games, PSAs, churches, schools and supermarkets. They were not interested in receiving information via the Internet. Materials should include graphics and other visuals, and not rely too heavily on text.

In the bicyclist focus groups, participants suggested that information be distributed via media outlets – radio, newspaper, television, and magazines, doctor's offices, churches, schools, community centers, bus shelters, the Internet, supermarkets, libraries, Hispanic neighborhoods, motor vehicle offices, and bike stores. They also suggested word-of-mouth advertising campaigns with commercials, posters, flyers, bumper stickers, a bicycle race, and manuals and maps for bicyclists.

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

Participants in both the pedestrian and bicyclist focus groups said that materials should be bilingual in Spanish and English. The focus groups did not include Portuguese.

Which Hispanic groups should be targeted and why? Are any groups over-represented in pedestrian and bicycle crashes? Which age groups of Hispanics should be targeted and why?

Focus group participants said that children were most likely to be in a crash but also mentioned new immigrants, seniors and those who are less informed about the laws as being at increased risk of a crash.

Should different cultural groups be targeted and why? Do their cultural differences have an impact on their involvement in pedestrian and bicycle crashes?

Focus group participants did not think that any one cultural group (such as Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, or Central Americans) was most at risk. Moreover, both pedestrian and bicyclist focus group participants agreed that while each Hispanic culture is unique, the differences among Hispanic cultures as they pertain to pedestrian and bicycle safety are relatively minor.

3.5 Outstanding questions

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

The focus groups did not include Portuguese.

< Previous Table of Content Next >
Page last modified on January 31, 2013.
Safe Roads for a Safer Future - Investment in roadway safety saves lives
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000