Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teens Making Poor Choices When It Comes To Riding In Vehicles

Date:
August 28, 2008
Source:
Meharry Medical College
Summary:
Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of US teens. While states are passing laws to help teen drivers, little thought is being given to their habits as passengers. A new study uncovers a public health crisis and offers a solution to the problem.

Injury prevention experts have long known that teens are less likely than other motorists to wear seat belts while driving. Now, researchers from the Meharry-State Farm Alliance at Meharry Medical College have discovered lack of seat belt use by teen passengers may be an even bigger problem.

In the first ever direct comparison of the differences between driver and passenger seat belt use for a nationally representative teen population, the Meharry researchers found that 59% of teens always buckled up in the driver seat but only 42% always wore seat belts as passengers. Even more sobering, only 38% of all teens reported always buckling up as both drivers and passengers.

The study population comprised over 12,000 African American, white, and Hispanic public and private high school students ages 16 or older who participated in the 2001 and 2003 National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. The surveys are conducted every two years by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track the leading causes of death and disability among U.S. teens.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for nearly 5,000 fatalities each year. About 40% of all teen motor vehicle occupant deaths involve passengers.

"Because seat belts can reduce the risk of injury and death in crashes by more than 50%, there is a critical need for interventions to increase seat belt use by teens as both drivers and passengers," said Nathaniel Briggs, MD, MSc, lead researcher on the study, published in the September 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

To address the issue, Briggs and his colleagues recommend a combination of approaches.

  • Upgrade state seat belt laws to uniformly require that teen motor vehicle occupants in the rear seat be secured in seat belts. Currently, the majority of state laws are limited to front seat coverage for some or all teens in the 16-19 age group.
  • Upgrade state seat belt laws from "secondary" (law enforcement officers can ticket motorists for seat belt law violations only after stopping them for another offense) to "primary" (law enforcement officers can stop and ticket motorists solely for seat belt law violations).
  • Enhance enforcement efforts directed toward teen motorists.
  • Develop comprehensive, community-based interventions including education, peer-to-peer persuasion, and parental monitoring.

"This research reinforces why State Farm is actively involved in advocating for laws that help prevent injuries and deaths resulting from motor vehicle crashes. It's clear from these findings that primary seat belt laws for all occupants would help us accomplish that goal," said Laurette Stiles, Vice-President - Strategic Resources at State Farm.

Additionally, the researchers pointed out a need for targeted interventions that address those teen subpopulations least likely to wear seat belts regardless of whether they are drivers or passengers, including young men, African Americans, students experiencing academic difficulties, and those with a history of either drinking and driving or riding with a drinking driver.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Meharry Medical College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Meharry Medical College. "Teens Making Poor Choices When It Comes To Riding In Vehicles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080827164146.htm>.
Meharry Medical College. (2008, August 28). Teens Making Poor Choices When It Comes To Riding In Vehicles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080827164146.htm
Meharry Medical College. "Teens Making Poor Choices When It Comes To Riding In Vehicles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080827164146.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) 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:
from the past week

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