Psychosocial and behavioral factors that predict impaired and other risky driving findings from a longitudinal study.
Authors: Jean T. Shope, C. Raymond Bingham, Jennifer S. Zakrajsek.
In 2005 in the U.S., there were 16,885 fatalities in alcohol-related traffic crashes, an estimated 39% of the total fatal crashes, and an additional 254,000 persons injured in alcohol-related crashes. Although alcohol-related crashes have decreased since 1982, they have leveled off in recent years. Young adults ages 21-34 continue to have the highest rates of driving under the influence of alcohol and are involved in more fatal alcohol-related crashes than any other age group of drivers (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2006). While alcohol is the most common substance impairing driving, there are indications that marijuana and other drug use may be increasing, and that the rates of driving under the influence of marijuana and other drugs may also be increasing (Albery et al. 2000). Thus an understanding of the factors associated with and predictive of impaired driving among young adults is imperative in the search for effective prevention and intervention strategies.