Driver licensing trajectories and motor vehicle crash rates among adolescents with autism spectrum disorders
methods: We linked two unique data sources: (1) electronic health records for 59,142 NJ residents born 1987-1994 who were patients of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia healthcare network within 4 years of driving-eligible age; and (2) a database containing the full licensing, citation, and crash history of all NJ drivers through 2012. Licensing rates and crash risk were compared for 618 patients with ASD and 58,524 without ASD.
results: Adolescents with ASD were much less likely to obtain a driver’s license by age 21 (29% vs. 80%, p<0.001) and did so later (median: 17.7 vs. 17.0 years old, p<0.001). Among those licensed, adolescents with ASD had a slightly lower (non-significant) risk of crashing (14% vs 17%, RR=0.78 [0.52, 1.18]) or being issued a moving violation (15% vs 17%, RR=0.87 [0.59, 1.29]) within 1 year of licensure.
conclusions: This is the first study to report objective license and crash data for a cohort of adolescents with ASD. Additional research is needed to further understand reasons for the discrepancy between the proportion of adolescents who plan on becoming licensed and those who actually do (e.g., lack of support) and to account for driving exposure in effect estimates.
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Compare the rate of obtaining a driver’s license and risk of motor vehicle crash involvement among patients of a large, regional pediatric healthcare network who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) without intellectual disability and patients who do not have ASD.
Keyword(s): Children With Special Needs, Children and Adolescents
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator of multiple studies examining driving and crash outcomes among adolescents with developmental disabilities and having been involved in teen driving safety research for six years.
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.