Road risks faced by 16 year olds assessed in Avon study

Avon longitudinal study of parents and children: Exposure to injury risk in the road environment and reported road traffic injuries in 16-year-olds

Conclusions from a survey of 4000 16 year olds in the Avon area

6.3% reported a road accident in the previous year: as a passenger in a motor vehicle (61.7%); as a cyclist (15.3%); as a driver of a moped or motorcycle (10.7%); or as a pedestrian (7%). Forty-two per cent of accidents resulted in injury and 75% of these needed medical attention.

Following a multivariate analysis, factors persistently linked to accidents at 16 years were risky and illegal driving behaviour (driving or being driven in a car without a licence), daily cigarette smoking (also as a marker for alcohol and drug use), impaired hearing reported by their parent at13 years and high scores on sensation seeking.

Stressful life events were significantly associated with reporting road accident involvement in the last 12 months at 16 years for girls, but not for boys.