Adolescents' perspective of transport related risk-taking and injury: Definitions, consequences, and risk and protective factors
Injury is the leading cause of death for adolescents in Australia. This is of particularly great concern as the leading cause of these injuries (those that are transport related) could be largely preventable by reducing risk-taking behaviour. In order to reduce such behaviour, effective road safety interventions should seek the input of the target participants. A series of focus groups were conducted with 30 high-risk adolescents, to seek information on their understanding of transport related risk-taking and injury. Primarily risk-taking involved car use, motorbike use, bicycle use, pedestrian behaviour and skateboarding. Further alcohol and drug use in the context of such behaviours were frequently reported. Most injuries were minor (for example, cuts and bruises) however participants identified more serious injury consequences (for example, head injuries and miscarriage). It was also found that the risk-taking was done in the context of peers, who exert a direct and indirect pressure to conform. Multiple risk and protective factors were also identified related to the individual and their environment. The results will be further discussed in terms of the value of seeking target participants? perspective of road safety issues and how this information will be used to design a prevention program.