JOURNAL ARTICLE

Intervention improves physician counseling on teen driving safety

Brendan T Campbell, Kevin Borrup, Hassan Saleheen, Leonard Banco, Garry Lapidus
Journal of Trauma 2009, 67 (1 Suppl): S54-7
19590355

BACKGROUND: As part of a statewide campaign, we surveyed physician attitudes and practice regarding teen driving safety before and after a brief intervention designed to facilitate in office counseling.

METHODS: A 31-item self-administered survey was mailed to Connecticut physicians, and this was followed by a mailing of teen driving safety materials to physician practices in the state. A postintervention survey was mailed 8 months after the presurvey.

RESULTS: A total of 102 physicians completed both the pre and postsurveys. Thirty-nine percent (39%) reported having had a teen in their practice die in a motor vehicle crash in the presurvey, compared with 49% in the postsurvey. Physician counseling increased significantly for a number of issues: driving while impaired from 86% to 94%; restrictions on teen driving from 53% to 64%; teen driving laws from 53% to 63%; safe vehicle from 32% to 42%; parents model safe driving from 29% to 44%; and teen-parent written contract from 15% to 37%.

CONCLUSIONS: At baseline, the majority of physicians who provide care to teenagers in Connecticut report discussing and counseling teens on first wave teen driver safety issues (seat belts, alcohol use), but most do not discuss graduate driver licensing laws or related issues. After a brief intervention, there was a significant increase in physician counseling of teens on teen driving laws and on the use of teen-parent contracts. Additional interventions targeting physician practices can improve physician counseling to teens and their parents on issues of teen driving safety.

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