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Highway Safety Needs of U.S. Hispanic Communities: Issues and Strategies
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    DOT HS 808 373
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  • Abstract:
    Growing diversity within the U.S. population is presenting new challenges to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other agencies that serve the public. One of the fastest growing demographic groups is the Hispanic population. The term Hispanic encompasses a number of communities that differ in their cultural heritage. The objective of this study was to identify the highway safety needs of Hispanic communities within the United States. The study also explored how best to promote highway safety issues to those communities and identified similarities and differences among the Hispanic communities on highway safety issues. Telephone discussions were held with representatives of public and other agencies actively engaged with Hispanic communities in California, Texas, Colorado, the District of Columbia, New York City/New Jersey, and Florida. In addition, focus groups were conducted with adolescent males, young adult males, young adult females, and parents of young children. Drinking and driving was the safety problem most frequently identified by the organizational representatives and community members, followed by nonuse of safety belts. In promoting health and safety, community members recommended developing themes that have some relationship to their lives, and agreed that the family is one of the most powerful symbols in the Hispanic community. The organizational representatives emphasized the importance of personal contact and establishing relationships within the community.

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