Why Prevention?

Frank L. Mitchell Jr., MD Trauma Center, University Hospital

As mid-Missouri’s only American College of Surgeons (ACS) verified Level 1 Trauma Center, the Frank L. Mitchell Jr., MD Trauma Center has the responsibility to help prevent traumatic injuries in the community. So, why prevention? Our expert trauma surgeons can only help those who reach the Trauma Center. Studies have revealed that 50%of traumatic injury victims die before any medical care can be provided – the only way to help this group is to prevent the injury in the first place!

Research and research-based

One of the most common traumatic injuries that we treat are injuries sustained in Motor Vehicle Crashes (MVCs). Over 5 decades of research in the field of highway safety has demonstrated that educational efforts aimed at changing driver behavior are rarely successful, and some may cause harm. This is especially true for younger drivers. In the case of younger drivers, the most effective prevention efforts are aimed at changing the context in which driving is experienced.

What is the context? These are things that fall outside of the adolescent’s behavior or choices, and are often rules set by parents, or laws enforced by states. Not allowing a teen to drive with passengers, for example, is changing the context of their driving. Similarly, having your teen drive a large, heavy and modern car changes the context in which they experience a crash.

Targeted Education

This web app is based upon leading edge investigation into the family’s contribution to roadway safety. Research has demonstrated that educating those in authority over high-risk drivers (parents or even employers) is an effective way to reduce crashes and injuries. Take note that this web app does not target adolescents, but parents or caregivers!

This web app is based on original research:
Taubman - Ben-Ari, O., & Katz - Ben-Ami, L. (2012). Family road safety climate and aspects of the social environment. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 47, 1-10.