Traffic Law Knowledge Disparity between Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites in California

The Hispanic population is one group that is involved in a disproportionately high percentage of fatal motor vehicle collisions in the United States. This study investigated demographic factors contributing to a lack of knowledge and awareness of traffic laws among Hispanic drivers involved in motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) in southern California. The cross-sectional study enrolled adults (n = 190) involved in MVCs presenting to a Level I trauma center in southern California over a 7-month period. Subjects completed a survey about California traffic law knowledge (TLK) consisting of eight multiple-choice questions. The mean number of questions answered correctly was compared between groups defined by demographic data. Results: The mean number of TLK questions answered correctly by Hispanic and non-Hispanic white groups were significantly different at 4.13 and 4.62, respectively (p = 0.005; 95% confidence interval -0.83 to-0.15). Scores were significantly lower in subjects who were not fluent in English, had less than a high school education, did not possess a current driver’s license, and received their TLK from sources other than a driver’s education class or Department of Motor Vehicle materials. Analysis of variance showed that the source of knowledge was the strongest predictor of accurate TLK. Source of TLK is a major contributing factor to poor TLK in Hispanics. An emphasis on culturally specific traffic law education is needed.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Abstract reprinted with permission from Elsevier.
  • Authors:
    • Anderson, Kenton L
    • Patel, Chirag V
    • Vaca, Federico
    • Anderson, Craig L
    • Mendoza, Rosemarie
    • Barton, Renee L
    • Michael E Lekawa
    • Hoonpongsimanont, Wirachin
    • Lotfipour, Shahram
  • Publication Date: 2011-6

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01345320
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 18 2011 12:30PM