Teen Driver Crash Risk and Associations with Smoking and Drowsy Driving



Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people in the United States. The goal of this study was to identify risk factor profiles of teen and young adult drivers involved in crashes. General demographic and behavioral as well as driving-related factors were considered. Analysis of a nationally representative telephone survey of U.S. young drivers ages 14 to 22 (N=900) conducted in 2005 was restricted to 506 licensed drivers (learners excluded). Statistically significant univariate associations between factors of interest and the primary outcome, crash involvement (ever) as a driver, were identified and included within a multivariate logistic regression model, controlling for potential demographic confounders. Aside from length of licensure, only driving alone while drowsy and being a current smoker were associated with having been in a crash. Gaining a better understanding of these behaviors could enhance the development of more customized interventions for new drivers.