The influence of driver distraction on the severity of injuries sustained by teenage drivers and their passengers

Accid Anal Prev. 2008 Jan;40(1):254-9. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2007.06.005. Epub 2007 Jul 16.


Studies show that teenage drivers are at a higher risk for crashes. Opportunities to engage in technology and non-technology based distractions appear to be a particular concern among this age group. An ordered logit model was developed to predict the likelihood of a severe injury for these drivers and their passenger using a national crash database (the 2003, U.S. DOT-General Estimate System [GES]). As one would expect, speeding substantially increases the likelihood of severe injuries for teenage drivers and their passengers. The results of the analysis also reveal that teenage drivers have an increased likelihood of more severe injuries if distracted by a cell phone or by passengers than if the source of distraction was related to in-vehicle devices or if the driver was inattentive. Additionally, passengers of teenage drivers are more likely to sustain severe injuries when their driver is distracted by devices or passengers than with a non-distracted or inattentive driver. This supports the previous literature on teenage drivers and extends our understanding of injuries for this age group related to distraction-related crashes.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attention*
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Cell Phone
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*