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Social Norms and Traffic Safety:
DWI Prevention and the Promotion of Seat-belt Use

To date, there have been several projects that have effectively used the social norms approach to promote various aspects of traffic safety, principally the prevention of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and the promotion of seatbelt use.

Among the first of these was the Minneapolis/St. Paul Prevention Collaborative, a joint effort of seven private and public colleges in Minnesota that achieved a 13% reduction in DWI over the course of the three-year project that began in 1996. More recently, the Montana Most of Us Don't Drink and Drive project achieved a relative decrease in the percentage of 21-34 year olds in the target areas who reported personally drinking and driving, as well as a relative increase in the percentage using non-drinking designated drivers.

Another Montana Most of Us project effectively used the social norms approach to increase seatbelt use among adults in a three-year statewide campaign.

Use the links in the navigation bar on the left of this page to see more information about one of these projects:

  • Minnesota DWI
  • Montana DWI
  • Montana Seatbelt

**Portions of the information presented on this page were originally prepared by Michael Haines and Richard Rice and are printed here with their permission.