UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Teen Driving Education in the Pediatric Emergency Department

Keywords: MVC, anticipatory guidance, seatbelts. (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/17/2020 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 9/27/2022)
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

The leading cause of death in the US for those aged 16 to 24 years is motor vehicle collisions (MVCs).  Teen drivers are more likely than any other age group to be involved in an MVC that result in injury or fatality.  Texting while driving, nighttime driving, inexperienced driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may play a role in these collisions.

Can anticipatory guidance related to safe driving be done in the ED?  YES!

This study implemented a toolkit that contained a copy of the driving law, a sample parent-teen driving contract and statistics on teen driving injuries. Post toolkit questionnaires showed that both teens and their guardians learned new information.

Bottom line: Engage in anticipatory guidance in the ED with teens and their parents about seatbelt use, the dangers of driving under the influence and local driving laws.

References

Spears et al.  Teen driving education in the pediatric emergency department: effectiveness of a tool kit.  Southern Medical Journal 2019; 112(11): 562-565.