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Demographic Trends and Traffic Casualties Among Youth

NCJ Number
Alcohol Drugs and Driving Volume: 3 Issue: 3-4 Dated: (July-December 1987) Pages: 45-62
H M Simpson; D R Mayhew
Date Published
18 pages
This paper examines Canadian and U.S. data on youth in traffic casualties over 1976-1985 and compares current directions for research in this area with those of earlier years
Although traffic deaths continue to be the leading cause of death among youth in Canada and the United States, the rate of traffic casualties for youth has declined over the last decade. Changes in population and the number of licensed drivers do not apparently explain this decline. Persons aged 15-24 account for in excess of 3 out of every 10 traffic deaths. Although certain relevant basic data are now more routinely available than they were 20 years ago, some data, such as exposure information (e.g., travel patterns), continue to be scarce. Research on young-driver accidents in the late 1960's and early 1970's had a broad perspective on the sociological and psychological aspects of reckless driving as a symptom of broader maladjustment. This was supplanted in the early 1980's with an obsessive focus on alcohol as the primary cause of adolescents' auto accidents. Research has now returned to a search for a wide range of variables that contribute to juveniles' traffic accidents. There has also been an increased multidisciplinary approach in the research. 10 figures and 37 references.


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