STTR Phase I:Educational Gaming for Teen Driver Safety

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1110201
Agency Tracking Number: 1110201
Amount: $148,928.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: DG
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
10 Arlene Court, Petaluma, CA, 94952-5216
DUNS: 121080290
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Noelle LaVoie
 (303) 817-7436
Business Contact
 Noelle LaVoie
Title: PhD
Phone: (303) 817-7436
Research Institution
 Yi-Ching Lee
 Research Administration
3615 Civic Center Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA, 19104-
 (267) 426-0311
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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