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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Evaluation of a Hispanic-centered motor vehicle fatality intervention program in rural North Carolina

Virginia M. Stewart, Medical Student, Department of Emergency Medicine, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Office of Student Affairs, East Carolina University: Brody Medical Science Building, Greenville, NC 27858-4354, 252-816-2278, vms0419@ecu.edu and Juan A. March, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Pitt County Memorial Hospital, 2100 Stantonsburg Rd, Greenville, NC 27858.

Introduction: Hispanics are the largest minority in the United States and comprise roughly 6% of the North Carolina (NC) population. Data collected by the US Census Bureau indicated over a 490% increase in NC's Hispanic population from 1990 to 2000. Rapid population growth without adequate bilingual services and culturally adept health policies contributed to widening health disparities between Hispanics and the general NC population. One area of inequity is the high incidence of motor vehicle fatalities among Hispanics. Previous research demonstrated mortality rates for Hispanics 10-20 times greater than Caucasians in certain NC counties.

Purpose: This study examines, in one NC county, the efficacy of a community-based intervention program designed to decrease motor vehicle collision fatalities among Hispanics.

Methods: This study was performed in Pitt County, with an approximate population of 150,000. The interventional program evaluated collaborated with local organizations to distribute educational materials concerning motor vehicle safety. Since July 2005, educational materials including messages about seat restraint use for adults and children, and driving while impaired were aimed at Hispanic residents. Information with reference to population in Pitt County was obtained from the US Bureau of Census. Data collected used the North Carolina State Highway Patrol computerized database of Motor Vehicle Collisions (MVCs). Fatalities, seatbelt usage, alcohol related deaths, cause of collision, and total number of MVCs were evaluated. Data was analyzed using Chi-squares, with an alpha value of 0.05 to establish statistical significance.

Results: Anticipated results include a decrease in Hispanic fatalities caused by motor vehicle collisions, specifically related to lack of compliance with safety restraint laws and alcohol consumption.

Conclusions: Due to the relatively small numbers, follow of this project will require comparison of an entire year of data from July 2004 to June 2005, versus July 2005 to June 2006.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Latino Health, Motor Vehicles

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    Not Answered

    APHA Student Assembly Late Breaker Poster Session

    The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA