Unsafe motor vehicle practices among substance-using college students

Accid Anal Prev. 1999 Nov;31(6):667-73. doi: 10.1016/s0001-4575(99)00027-5.


This study examines the relationship between substance use and behaviors that increase the risk for motor vehicle crashes and crash-related injuries. The investigation uses National College Health Risk Behavior Survey data collected in 1995 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These data are representative of 2- and 4-year undergraduate college students in private and public colleges and universities in the United States. Smokers, episodic heavy drinkers, marijuana users and users of illegal drugs in combination with alcohol were significantly more likely to drive after drinking alcohol and ride with a driver who had been drinking alcohol and significantly less likely to wear safety belts while driving or while riding in a car as a passenger. This study indicates that college students who are substance users are more likely to behave in a manner which increases their risk for motor vehicle crashes and motor vehicle crash injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking
  • Seat Belts / statistics & numerical data
  • Substance-Related Disorders*
  • United States