Formative Research on Promoting Car-Free Youth Transportation




Car accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. 10- to 24-year-olds (CDC, 2018). Motivating youth to drive less by choosing car-free mobility may reduce fatalities and contribute to positive environmental impact. Yet, little is known about how youth perceive car-free transportation or what may motivate them to choose it more often. Results from focus groups analyzed through the lens of the theory of planned behavior explore youth perceptions and experiences about car-free transportation. Perceived effectiveness of car-free messages also is presented. This study contributes to understandings of the theoretical underpinnings of an understudied area of public interest communications. Practical recommendations for strategic communication with youth about car-free transportation include appealing to their agency and autonomy and reinforcing their safety.

Author Biographies

Autumn Shafer, University of Oregon

Autumn Shafer, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. Her research seeks to address important social, theoretical, and practical issues related to public health promotion and social issues advocacy.

Jared Macary, University of Oregon

Jared Macary holds degrees in Visual Media Arts and Public Communication and is a doctoral student in Media Studies at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Jared’s research explores environmental communication.






Original Research