Background Motor vehicle collision is a leading cause of injury and mortality in teens. Graduated drivers licensing (GDL) is a common practice to help mitigate risk associated with younger and inexperienced drivers. However, gaps and inconsistencies exist across regions in how restrictive GDL rules are.
Methods This study used police collision report data from Alberta, Canada for the years 2010–2016. An automated, previously validated, culpability analysis tool was applied to collisions involving drivers between 16 and 19 years of age to score fault. Factors that increase odds of fault in all-collisions were identified using logistic regression.
Results There were 45,938 motor vehicle collisions involving young drivers. of these, approximately 71% of young drivers were identified as at-fault. Crude analyses indicate that driving between 2300 hrs and 600 hrs increase odds of being at-fault (OR= 1.39; 95% CI: 1.27–1.51). Odds of being at-fault in collision were lower with the presence of an adult passenger over 20 years of age (OR= 0.62; 95% CI: 0.57–0.67) or a single peer of similar age (OR= 0.90; 95% CI: 0.83–0.97). Other passenger categories (younger passenger or multiple teens) were not significantly associated with young driver culpability.
Conclusion Passenger type and time of day may both be contributing to young driver fault in collisions. Future directions include multivariable analysis as well as analysis on teen driver fault in severe injury collisions.
Learning Outcomes There exists a potential opportunity for policy regulations that may modify or reduce exposure to factors contributing to teen driver culpability in motor vehicle collisions.
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