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STTR Phase I:Educational Gaming for Teen Driver Safety

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
10 ARLENE CT PETALUMA, CA 94952-5216
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: STTR Phase I:Educational Gaming for Teen Driver Safety
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1110201
Award Amount: $148,928.00


This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project will develop the first in a series of theoretically grounded, evidence-based multi-player games designed to address the leading health risk to teens - motor vehicle crashes. This STTR will provide a new model for translating discoveries in teen driver safety to driver education that captures the difficult to articulate aspects of knowledge that are gained through experience, i.e. tacit knowledge. Our research has been translated into a theoretically grounded, demonstrated efficacious program, Ride Like a Friend (RLAF), to reduce risk from peer passengers. The long-term goal of this new research effort is to leverage our foundational science and expertise to develop a suite of theoretically-driven, evaluated games that promote safe driving behaviors among teens. As a first step, this STTR will develop and assess a prototype RLAF game. Multi-player strategy games provide a unique opportunity for teens to experience the effects of their driving decisions, especially passenger interactions. Findings will advance not only the field of driver training but also education of teens about other health behaviors. Outside of mentorship programs, this type of knowledge is rarely targeted for explicit instruction. We will demonstrate the benefits of implementing formal training for experiential knowledge in improving the ways that teens reason and make decisions about their safety, health and social interactions, particularly relevant for teens who lack role models to pass on healthy and effective strategies. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project includes the translation of scientific research on teen driving risks, particularly dangers from peer passengers, into games that will offer educators and teens the opportunity to improve teen driving safety. Vehicle accidents remain the leading cause of death and injury for teens, accounting annually for over 3000 deaths, 100 times as many injuries, and over 14 billion dollars in associated costs. CHOP/CChIPS has been at the forefront of research devoted to understanding the combination of social pressures, developmental cognitive limits, and lack of experience that may be at the root of teen passenger driving risks and this STTR will translate this scientific foundation into games that when commercialized and distributed will improve teen driver safety.

Principal Investigator:

Noelle LaVoie
(303) 817-7436

Business Contact:

Noelle LaVoie
(303) 817-7436
Small Business Information at Submission:

Parallel Consulting
10 Arlene Court Petaluma, CA 94952-5216

EIN/Tax ID: 030474357
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Research Administration
3615 Civic Center Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-
Contact: Yi-Ching Lee
Contact Phone: 2674260311