Adolescent motor vehicle crash prevention through a trauma centered-based intervention program

Cathline Layba, Lance Griffin, Daniel Jupiter, Charles Mathers, William Mileski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Traumatic injuries account for millions of emergency room visits and hospital admissions annually. Motor vehicle crashes (MVC) remain a leading cause of mortality between the ages of one to 44. With the popularity of smart devices, drivers are ever more distracted on the road. Programs that educate drivers on safe actions and to raise awareness of the perils of drunk and distracted driving exist, but there is little data that demonstrates a reduction in motor vehicle injury rates. We sought to determine if the implementation of such a program in our community would impact the rates of MVCs. Assessing the effectiveness of The Save A Life Tour™, a risk reduction program, this intervention was instituted at a single area high school. The number of adolescent drivers ages 16-21 involved in MVCs treated at the regional level 1 trauma center were compared over two time intervals and between two adjoining counties. The time intervals consisted of pre-intervention and post-intervention surveillance, each over a period of three years. Using our trauma registry, we compared the incidence of MVC between the two counties and between the two age groups. The data was also compared to the incidence amongst these populations nationally. In the pre-intervention period, the number of adolescent MVCs treated from the catchment area was 166 and the number in the post-intervention period was 105. This represented a risk reduction of 37% (P<0.05). During the same intervals, the incidence in the non-intervention control catchment area increased by 12%. There was no significant change in the population age 16-21 over the time intervals in either area. These results suggest that ongoing educational intervention programs aimed at adolescent drunk and distracted driving can have an impact on these life-threatening behaviors and on the incidence of MVCs.Level of evidence category III; Study type: economic/decision

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - May 25 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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