206831 Screening for Risky Driving Practices in an Urban Emergency Department

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Marilyn S. Sommers, PhD , School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Michael Lyons, MD , Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Jamison D. Fargo, PhD , Department of Psychology, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Background: Behaviors such as risky driving are known to contribute to injury. A hospital Emergency Department (ED) visit may be the only contact with a healthcare provider that some people have each year and offers an opportunity for injury prevention counseling. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of risky driving in an urban ED sample. Methods: We defined risky driving as driving 20+ mph over the speed limit, driving through yellow lights as they turned to red, and lack of seat belt use. We used a cross sectional design to collect data from a probability sample in an urban, Level I Trauma Center. Results: We screened 10,921 young adults 18-44 years (mean=31.2; SD=8.0); 51% were female, and 54% were African-American (41% White, 5% other). We found a 40% increase in the odds of speeding among 18-24 year olds as compared to 35-44 year olds (p<.0001), with the odds among males 43% greater than females (p<.0001). The expected frequency of running a yellow light was 21% higher among 18-24 year olds as compared to 25-34 year olds (p=.012), and 82% higher than 35-44 year olds (p<.0001). The expected rate was 37% higher among males than females (p < .0001). Sixty-nine percent of the sample always wore seatbelts. A binomial logistic regression analysis indicated that seatbelt use significantly varied by age, sex, and ethnicity. Conclusions: Risky driving practices are common behaviors in the urban ED population, and the ED should be considered an appropriate venue to target risky driving prevention strategies.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the prevalence of risky driving practices in an urban Emergency Department sample. 2. Compare the prevalence of risky driving practices as a function of sex, age, and ethnicity.

Keywords: Injury Prevention, Emergency Department/Room

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal investigator of the study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.