242797 Are teenage males at elevated risk for all motor vehicle crashes? An analysis of seven crash configurations by age and sex

Monday, October 31, 2011

Johnathon P. Ehsani, MPH , School of Public Health, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
C. Raymond Bingham, PhD , Transportation Research Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Teenage male drivers crash more often and at higher rates than any other group of drivers [1]. The question of whether teenage males' elevated risk is uniformly distributed across all crashes or is concentrated in certain crash configurations is poorly understood. The purpose of this research was to define crash types based on combinations of crash characteristics and estimate differences in the likelihood of fatal and non-fatal crash configurations across four age by sex groups: teenage males, teenage females, adult males and adult females.


The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) [2] and the General Estimates System (GES) [3] data were used to create seven crash configurations that accounted for 85.9% of all crashes.


Teenage males' higher crash risk relative to other drivers was concentrated to single vehicle head-on, and front-to-rear crashes. Teenage males were less likely than teenage females and adults to be rear-ended or hit in the right side. For rear-end crashes, there was a pronounced age effect, where adults were approximately two to three times more likely to be rear-ended relative to teenage drivers. For right-side crashes (where the study vehicle is struck in the right side by another vehicle), there was a distinct sex effect, with teenage and adult females having significantly higher odds of this crash configuration than teenage and adult males.


Teenage males' greater overall risk of MVC was not constant across all crash configurations. These results suggest fundamental differences in driving outcomes by age and sex.

Learning Areas:

Learning Objectives:
1. Define common crash configurations that account for the majority of crashes. 2. Determine whether teenage males’ crash risk was consistently high across all crash configurations. 3. Compare the likelihood of involvement in seven crash configurations for four age by sex groups (teenage males, teenage females, adult males and adult females). 4. Identify the crash configurations for which each sex by age group was at elevated risk.

Keywords: Motor Vehicles, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have experience in injury research and epidemiology in a number of settings and content areas, including occupational injury research in Australia, childhood injury prevention in Thailand and the motor vehicle crash prevention in the United States.
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.