Evaluating Otto the Auto: Does engagement in an interactivewebsite improve young children’s transportation safety?

Academic Article


  • Transportation-related injuries are a leading cause of pediatric death, and effective interventions are limited. Otto the Auto is a website offering engaging, interactive activities. We evaluated Otto among a sample of sixty-nine 4- and 5-year-old children, who participated in a randomized parallel group design study. Following baseline evaluation, children engaged with either Otto or a control website for 2 weeks and then were re-evaluated. Children who used Otto failed to show increases in transportation safety knowledge or behavior compared to the control group, although there was a dosage effect whereby children who engaged in the website more with parents gained safer behavior patterns. We conclude Otto may have some efficacy when engaged by children with their parents, but continued efforts to develop and refine engaging, effective, theory-driven strategies to teach children transportation safety, including via internet, should be pursued.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Schwebel DC; Johnston A; Shen J; Li P
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 7