[1512.160] Texting While Driving among High School Students: Analysis of 2011 Data from the National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
Alexandra Bailin, Suzanne Sunday, Andrew Adesman. Psychology, Princeton Uniiversity, Princeton, NJ; Biostatistics Unit, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, NY; Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, NY.
BACKGROUND: Motor vehicle accidents (MVA) are the largest cause of death in teenagers, and texting while driving (TWD) significantly increases the incidence of MVA. There are currently no systematic analyses examining high-risk behaviors that predict TWD.
OBJECTIVE: Using national data from the CDC's 2011 YRBSS, our objectives were to: describe the prevalence of TWD among high school (HS) students, determine the high-risk behaviors that predict TWD, and analyze the effectiveness of state laws prohibiting TWD.
DESIGN/METHODS: Analysis included teens above legal age for obtaining a restricted license in their state (N=7,833). Texting frequency was defined by a single question (“During the past 30 days, on how many days did you text or e-mail while driving a car or other vehicle?”) and analyzed as a dichotomous variable. Seven domains of high-risk behaviors were assessed, and a backward elimination logistic regression was conducted to determine which high-risk behaviors, if any, predict TWD. For state analyses, 15 states that instituted a TWD law during the period of data collection were eliminated.
RESULTS: 3,340 (42.7%) of participants reported TWD at least once in the past 30 days. Four health-risk behaviors were retained in the regression model (along with gender and age) and significantly predicted TWD: number of days driving after drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, number of days having one or more drinks in the past 30 days, number of times used an indoor tanning device in the past year and having sex without a condom during last intercourse. Males (45.7% vs. 39.7%) and older adolescents (51.9% of 18+ year-olds compared to 45.8% of 17-year-olds, 33.3% of 16-year-olds, and 26.4% of 15-year-olds) were more likely to TWD. The state analysis revealed that TWD was significantly more prevalent in states without a law prohibiting TWD than in states with a law (43.5% vs. 39.3%). However, the effect size for this association was small.
CONCLUSIONS: TWD is very prevalent among adolescents in the U.S. Given the relationships between TWD and other high-risk behaviors, educational interventions should especially target those who are frequently consuming alcohol, drinking and driving, using indoor tanning devices and having unprotected sex. As current state legislation prohibiting TWD is minimally effective, incurring harsher penalties or developing restrictive phone applications may be more effective in reducing TWD.
First Author is a Undergraduate Student
Session: Poster Session: Adolescent Medicine (1:00 PM - 4:00 PM)
Date/Time: Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 1:00 PM
Room: Hall D/E - Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Course Code: 1512