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Alcohol Use and Transportation Risk Reduction Among Young Adults in the US

Previous Research on Alcohol Use and Transportation


Research in the U.S. concerning alcohol use and methods of transportation has focused primarily on prevalence of and interventions on drinking and driving (Caudill, Harding, & Moore, 2000; Harding, Caudill, & Moore, 2001; Rivara et al., 2007). Based upon prior research findings, effective interventions need to target passengers as well as drivers (Cartwright & Asbridge, 2011; Johnson, Voas, & Miller, 2012) to understand the dynamics of drinking groups (individuals who arrive at and leave drinking establishments together) in order to enhance the effectiveness of risk reduction efforts among young adults ages 18–25 (Johnson et al., 2012; Lange, Reed, Johnson, & Voas, 2006). These young adults are in the age group with the highest percentage of drivers in crashes who are under the influence of alcohol (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2012, April). The efforts to prevent injuries resulting from driving under the influence of alcohol have been generally effective. With the combined efforts of activism, public health campaigns, and increased policy and enforcement efforts, alcohol-related driving deaths have declined over the past three decades (US Department of Transportation, 2008; Wells, Kelly, Golub, Grov, & Parsons, 2010).

However, public health campaigns that emphasize the ‘‘don’t drink and drive’’ message have been criticized for unintentionally sending a message that, as long as you don’t drink and drive or ride with an impaired driver, you can drink to excess while out for the evening and be safe (Ditter et al., 2005; Harding et al., 2001). In addition, the focus on vehicle-related safety overlooks other fundamental issues related to alcohol use and exiting a drinking venue safely when private vehicles are not involved, such as taking the subway, walking or riding a bicycle. These concerns include: choosing dangerous levels of alcohol consumption; increased risk of pedestrian-auto accidents; and an increased risk for involvement (both victimization and perpetration) in petty/misdemeanor and serious crimes in the area surrounding the drinking establishment.

Different ways to do in-text citations:

1.Interventions for drinking and driving should target not just drivers, but passengers as well, especially in the young adult (18 to 25 year-olds) age range as they account for the highest percentage of alcohol related crashes (Bourdeau, Miller, Johnson, & Voas, 2015).

2.Because “young adults are in the age group with the highest percentage of drivers in crashes who are under the influence of alcohol” (p.12), new intervention strategies related to risk reduction should focus on passengers as well as drivers (Bourdeau, Miller, Johnson, & Voas, 2015).

3.Bourdeau, Miller, Johnson, and Voas (2015) write that most of the drinking and driving “risk reduction efforts” (p. 12) ignore the influences of the passengers involved, especially in the young adult age range between eighteen and twenty-five.

4-step citation (preview, cite, interpret, apply to audience):

A.Drinking and driving causes more accidents in the young adult age range of eighteen to twenty-five than in any other age group.
B.According to Bourdeau, Miller, Johnson, and Voas (2015), research shows intervention strategies aimed at young adults should focus on passengers as well as drivers.
C.Deterrents that take into account the whole group of friends who are planning to drink alcohol together might help reduce the number of crashes within this age range.
D.Designating a sober driver is only the first step in ensuring our safety after a night out on the town.

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