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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Assesses Age of Driver as Factor in Injury Risk among Child Passengers

Ms. Samantha G. Bromfield, graduate research assistant, and Dr. Gerald McGwin, Jr., professor and vice chair, in the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, explored the relationship between injury risk among child occupants involved in motor vehicle collisions and the age of the vehicle driver.

SBromfield_UAB ASPPH

[Photo: Ms. Samantha G. Bromfield]


[Photo: Dr. Gerald McGwin, Jr.]

A total of 10,797 participants in the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System between 2000 and 2009 were used to identify demographic-, vehicle-, collision- and injury-related characteristics among motor vehicle collision occupants equal to or less than 15 years of age. The association between the age of the driver (older versus younger, defined as individuals under 50 years of age versus individuals equal to or greater than 50 years of age, respectively) and injury occurrence was estimated using logistic regression adjusting for the potentially confounding effect of occupant, vehicle, and collision characteristics.

Of the child occupants in motor vehicle collisions, 2.9 percent were driving with an older driver and approximately 2.9 percent were injured while driving with a younger driver. After adjusting for child occupant age, gender, restraint use, seat position, and vehicle type, there remained no significant association between the age of the driver (older versus younger) and the risk of injury.

These findings add to the body of literature indicating no difference in injury risk found among children when considering the age of the driver. The researchers concluded that additional research is needed to ascertain the association and to further evaluate characteristics more specific to the relationship being explored in this study. “Injury Risk among Children in Motor Vehicle Crashes: Older versus Younger Drivers” was published in the June issue of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

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