Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Urban Sprawl Puts Teen Drivers At Even Higher Risk

Date:
February 6, 2008
Source:
Center for the Advancement of Health
Summary:
Driving might be a badge of freedom for teen-agers, but it can also be deadly. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of teen fatalities in the United States, accounting for 44 percent, according to the National Safety Council. A new study suggests that urban sprawl could put teens at more risk. There is a strong relationship between the number of miles a teen drives and the risk of injury or death. Teens in sprawling counties were more than twice as likely to drive more than 20 miles per day as teens in compact counties were -- and the younger they were, the more miles they drove.

Driving might be a badge of freedom for teen-agers, but it can also be deadly. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of teen fatalities in the United States, accounting for 44 percent, according to the National Safety Council. A new study suggests that urban sprawl could put teens at more risk.

Related Articles


There is a strong relationship between the number of miles a teen drives and the risk of injury or death, said lead author Matthew Trowbridge, a fellow of the University of Michigan Injury Research Center. “So, are there things in the environment that promote driving exposure?”

Yes, according to the study, which found that teens in sprawling counties were more than twice as likely to drive more than 20 miles per day as teens in compact counties were — and the younger they were, the more miles they drove.

The study analyzed driving and demographic data for 4,528 teens, ages 16 to 19, from the 2001 National Household Transportation Survey, and then associated those data to an index of county-level sprawl to calculate the probability of a youngster racking up miles on the odometer. The researchers said that this methodology might actually underestimate the effects of sprawl on driving.

John Ulczycki, executive director of the NSC’s Transportation Safety Group, said the study gives weight to his organization’s efforts to educate parents. He said that the trend toward larger, centralized high schools requires kids to travel longer distances each day. “I suspect that, in most cases, the degree of sprawl today is much different than it was a generation ago,” he said.

Most initiatives for teen driving safety attempt to limit exposure to the risk by limiting driving. While city planners have begun to try to encourage walking and biking, they are only beginning to consider injury prevention in their designs, according to Trowbridge.

The study took a multidisciplinary approach, examining factors in the built environment that might promote driving exposure. Co-author Noreen McDonald is a professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina.

“There’s a growing awareness that anything man-made actually impacts public health,” Trowbridge said. A key question for planners — and for all of us — he said, is, “Are we doing ourselves harm as a society with some of our development practices?”

Journal reference: Trowbridge MJ, McDonald N. Urban sprawl and miles driven daily by teenagers in the United States. Am J Prev Med 34(3), 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center for the Advancement of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center for the Advancement of Health. "Urban Sprawl Puts Teen Drivers At Even Higher Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205203510.htm>.
Center for the Advancement of Health. (2008, February 6). Urban Sprawl Puts Teen Drivers At Even Higher Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205203510.htm
Center for the Advancement of Health. "Urban Sprawl Puts Teen Drivers At Even Higher Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205203510.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins