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An adaptive medium access control (MAC) retransmission limit selection scheme is proposed to improve the performance of IEEE 802.11p standard MAC protocol for video streaming applications over vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANETs). A multi-objective optimization framework, which jointly minimizes the probability of playback freezes and start-up delay of the streamed video at the destination vehicle by tuning the MAC retransmission limit with respect to channel statistics as well as packet transmission rate, is applied at road side unit (RSU). Periodic channel state estimation is performed at the RSU using the information derived from the received signal strength (RSS) and Doppler shift effect. Estimates of access probability between the RSU and the destination vehicle is incorporated in the design of the adaptive MAC scheme. The adaptation parameters are embedded in the user datagram protocol (UDP) packet header. Two-hop transmission is applied in zones in which the destination vehicle is not within the transmission range of any RSU. For multi-hop scenario, we discuss two-hop joint MAC retransmission adaptation and path selection. Compared with the non-adaptive IEEE 802.11p standard MAC, numerical results show that the proposed adaptive MAC protocol exhibits significantly fewer playback freezes while introduces only a slight increase in start-up delay.