Teen Driver Safety
January 23, 2014Recent New York Times stories on the diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) suggest that pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and even parents have added to what is the perceived overdiagnosis of this developmental disability and that the benefits of medication as a primary treatment have been overblown. While we need to be cautious about overdiagnosis and prescribing medication when unnecessary, we also need to take ADHD symptoms seriously, especially when it comes to injury prevention and driving.
December 19, 2013One of the key risk factors for teen driver crashes is the presence of peer passengers. One passenger doubles the risk of a crash, and two or more passengers lead to a five times greater risk of crash. As part of the CIRP@CHOP Teen Driver Safety Research Team and the principal investigator of simulator-based research and director of the simulator program, I have been exploring the detrimental impact of peer passengers on teen drivers with my research colleague, Noelle LaVoie, PhD at Parallel Consulting, with the goal of developing an engaging intervention that helps teens to reduce passenger-related distractions. We are in the process of developing a multi-player game as an intervention to address this issue.
December 3, 2013Most childhood injuries– unintentional and intentional-- are preventable through evidence-based public health policies, awareness and education, as well as practical engineering and technology solutions. But this action requires translational research. And this research relies on concerned citizens and members of industry, like you, that care about children’s health and well-being. Choose to support child injury prevention when you support #Giving Tuesday.
November 21, 2013Last week I had an opportunity to talk with fellow nurses at the 11th Annual Conference for Pediatric Surgical and Trauma Nursing at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) on teen driving safety. I spoke with nurses working in emergency departments, intensive care units, trauma clinics and surgical units about teen crash prevention. While clinical care for a teen injured in a motor vehicle crash is an important topic to address, I instead took the opportunity to highlight how we as nurses can play a critical role in educating teens and their families about teen driver safety so that further tragedies can be prevented.
November 14, 2013What a difference a few years make. When New Jersey implemented its first-in-the-nation decal provision as part of its Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program on May 1, 2010, it ignited a firestorm of protest from some parents and state legislators. Known as Kyleigh’s Law, it requires all 16- to 20-year-olds holding a learner’s permit or intermediate license to display a reflective decal on the front and back license plates of vehicles they are driving. Initial evidence from research conducted by CHOP shows that the decals work to reduce teen crash risk. A couple in Maine have created a pink decal of their own to help keep teens safe in memory of their daughter, Taylor, 15, who was killed in a crash with an inexperienced teen driver behind the wheel.