3118.0: Monday, November 13, 2000 - 3:15 PM

Abstract #5475

Potential benefits of restrictions on the transport of teenage passengers

Li-Hui Chen, PhD1, Susan P Baker, MPH1, Elisa R Braver, PhD2, and Guohuo Li, DrPH3. (1) Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, 624 North Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, 410-614-2812, lhchen@jhsph.edu, (2) Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 1005 N. Glebe Road Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22201, (3) Department of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 North Wolfe Street, Marburg B194A, Baltimore, MD 21287

The presence of passengers is associated with fatal motor vehicle crashes of 16-17-year-old drivers. Restrictions on carrying passengers are expected to reduce crashes and deaths, and have been included in some graduated licensing systems; however, a question remains as to whether crashes would increase because of the increased trips by teenage drivers traveling separately. The purpose of this study was to predict the net effects of prohibitions against 16-17- year-old drivers carrying passengers younger than age 20 in the United States. Travel-based road user death rates with and without passengers were calculated based upon two national data sets, a census of fatal crashes and a sample of trips in the United States. Potential effects of restrictions on drivers ages 16-17 were estimated based on road user death rates and on different percentages of potential choices made by their passengers. There were 1,114 road user deaths in 1990 involving drivers ages 16-17 whose passengers were all younger than age 20. The predicted number of lives that would be saved annually ranges from 97 to 554 (corresponding to reductions of 9% to 50% in road user deaths) for restrictions on drivers ages 16-17. Restrictions on carrying passengers younger than age 20 should be considered as a component of graduated licensing systems for young drivers. Even if only half of the drivers obey the restrictions, a substantial reduction in relevant road user deaths could be expected.

Learning Objectives: 1. Understand what prompted this research - namely, concern that if all 16-17 year old drivers drive separately, the number of crashes might increase. 2. Describe the likely net effects of passenger restrictions for drivers ages 16-17. 3. Provide legislators with a convincing argument in support of passenger restrictions as a component of graduated licensure

Keywords: Adolescents, Motor Vehicles

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA