Background Adolescents belong to an age group warranting special transport and mobility research and programmes. From a road safety perspective, they carry the largest crash and morbidity/mortality risk of any age group. This has led to considerable research and safety programmes, but these efforts have plateaued in many countries and remain fixed within a road safety perspective. From a broader perspective, little has been done about the many non-traffic health risks related to teen driving (increased drug and alcohol use, anti-social behaviour, sexually transmitted infections, inactivity and obesity). From a sustainable transport perspective, a contemporary imperative, teens are where the transition from non-driver to driver takes place; an opportune time for interventions to minimise environmental harms.
Methods We introduce a new paradigm termed ‘mobility health’ to bridge the siloed domains of safety, adolescent health and sustainable mobility management. The advantages include:
• A school focus makes them an easy population to identify and offers on-going integration into curricula.
• Giving youth the freedom to choose their mobility options with knowledge of the benefits and drawbacks of alternatives.
• Provides settings where peers, teachers and parents can play important roles so it becomes more than an individual choice.
• Healthy mobility habits learned at this age may be engrained for life, making it a smarter investment.
Recommendation We advocate changing the current narrow paradigm of adolescent road safety to a cross-level/cross-disciplinary, more potent, timely and healthy vision of less driving through mobility modal shift from cars to active and public transport.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.