Online Program

Drinking while driving and other risk factors associated with adolescent texting while driving

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Melanie Kornides, BSN, MS, MPH, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Alison E. Field, ScD, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, Boston, MA
Background: Despite the known dangers of text messaging while driving, little is known about its association with driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Our objective was to examine the associations between texting while driving, DUI, and other correlates among U.S. adolescents. Methods: We conducted cross-sectional analyses of data from 8511 adolescents ≥16 years who participated in the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. The main outcome, texting while driving (TWD), and the primary predictor, DUI, were measured by self-report of the behaviors in the past month. Other possible correlates examined included demographics, drug and alcohol use, smoking, sleep, and media use. Chi-square tests and weighted logistic regression analyses were conducted using SAS v.9.3. Results: 44% of adolescents reported TWD; 10% reported DUI. Males were more likely than females to TWD (46% versus 42%, p=.009) as were adolescents ≥18yrs compared to younger (OR 2.61, 95%CI:2.05-3.32). Other races/ethnicities were less likely to TWD than whites (p<.0001). Adolescents who reported DUI had 4.1 (95%CI:2.96-5.71) times the odds of TWD compared to those who did not. Other factors significantly associated with TWD were average amount of sleep (p=.002), average time spent on TV and video games (p=.0001), prescription drug abuse (p=.01), and underage drinking frequency (p<.0001). Conclusion: Adolescents who text and drive are likely to engage in other high risk behaviors, including DUI, drinking frequently, and abusing drugs. Public health interventions that target drinking and substance abuse should simultaneously target texting while driving, as these behaviors combined increase accident risk.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe risk factors associated with adolescent texting while driving.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Motor Vehicles

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a registered family nurse practitioner and a second year doctoral student in epidemiology. I completed a BSN and MS in nursing, and a MPH degree with a concentration in epidemiology.
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.