Research Papers

Non-Benzodiazepine Hypnotics and Police-Reported Motor Vehicle Crash Risk Among Older Adults: A Sequential Target Trial Emulation

American Journal of Epidemiology
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Zullo AR, Khan MA, Pfeiffer MR, Margolis SA, Ott BR, Curry AE, Bayer TA, Riester MR, Joyce NR

Z-drugs like zolpidem are taken at night to facilitate sleep but may cause sedation that affects driving the following morning. NJ-SHO researchers and Brown University collaborators used linked Medicare claims data and crash and licensing records to see if older drivers taking Z-drugs for 12 weeks were more likely to crash than those not taking Z-drugs. They did not find elevated risk of overall crashes, at-fault crashes, or crashes that occurred in the morning associated with a Z-drug prescription. 

Driver’s Licensure and Driving Outcomes Among Youths with Mood Disorders

JAMA Network Open
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Gaw CE, Metzger KB, Pfeiffer MR, Yerys BE, Boyd RC, Corwin DJ, Curry AE

Young adults with mood disorders were 30% less likely to acquire a driver’s license compared to their peers without mood disorders. Young adults with mood disorders had slightly higher overall crash rates at 12- and 48-months post-licensure and had double the rate of license suspensions compared to their peers without mood disorders. Research suggests the need to develop evidence-based training and education for adolescents with mood disorders who want to drive. 

Changes in the Burden of Medications That May Impair Driving Among Older Adults Before and After a Motor Vehicle Crash

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
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Riester MR, D’Amico AM, Khan MA, Joyce NR, Pfeiffer MR, Margolis SA, Ott BR, Curry AE, Bayer TA, Zullo AR

Some medications, such as antihistamines and antidepressants, can impact a person’s driving and are considered potentially driver-impairing (PDI). Over half of older Medicare beneficiaries involved in crashes in New Jersey were exposed to two or more potentially driver-impairing (PDI) medications before and after a crash. Some drivers started taking more PDI medications after a crash, suggesting the need for more attention to the effects on driving for older people involved in crashes.

Variation In Drivers' Seat Belt Use By Indicators of Community-Level Vulnerability

Journal of Safety Research
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Sartin EB, Lombardi LR, Metzger KB, Myers RK, Pfeiffer MR, Curry AE

Examining crash reports with linked community-level indicators may optimize efforts aimed at improving traffic safety behaviors, like seat belt use. This study found that not wearing a seat belt is 121% more prevalent in communities with the largest percentage of the population living with three or more indicators of vulnerability than those in the least vulnerable communities.

Distance From Home to Motor Vehicle Crash Location: Implications for License Restrictions Among Medically-At-Risk Older Drivers

Journal of Aging & Social Policy
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Joyce NR, Khan MA, Zullo AR, Pfeiffer MR, Metzger KB, Margolis SA, Ott BR, Curry AE

In 30 states, licensing agencies can restrict the distance from home that "medically-at-risk" drivers are permitted to drive. This study found that a majority of crashes occur within a few miles from home with little variation among driver demographics or medical conditions. Therefore, distance restrictions may not reduce crash rates among older adults. Future research is needed to understand the extent to which older adults drive and to identify other factors that influence crash risk.

Restraint Use Characteristics Among Crash-Involved Children Passengers: Identifying Opportunities to Enhance Optimal Restraint Use

Traffic Injury Prevention
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Myers RK, Lombardi LR, Pfeiffer MR, Curry AE

Information from New Jersey police-reported crashes showed that children were typically restrained during crashes, but not always correctly, especially among younger children. Many drivers in this study did not follow best practice recommendations for child restraint use, as well as NJ child passenger safety laws.

Improving Identification of Crash Injuries: Statewide Integration of Hospital Discharge and Crash Report Data

Traffic Injury Prevention
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Lombardi LR, Pfeiffer MR, Metzger KB, Myers RK, Curry AE

By successfully linking hospital discharge data with motor vehicle crash reports to account for crash injuries more accurately, CIRP researchers make clear the continued need for data integration efforts to classify the true burden of crash-related injuries. Armed with this information, prevention efforts can be tailored to populations most at risk for crash-related injuries.

Real-World Crash Circumstances Among Newly Licensed Adolescent Drivers With and Without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Journal of Adolescent Health
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Curry AE, Sartin EB, Metzger KB, McDonald CC, Carey ME, Power TJ, Yerys BE

Adolescents with ADHD have 30 to 40% higher crash rates than their peers without ADHD. They are also 9% more likely to be at fault for their crashes and 15% more likely to be inattentive. Research using naturalistic data is needed to identify driving performance differences that might not be detected in police-reported data. This information will help optimize driver training for teens with ADHD.

Facilitating Research On Racial and Ethnic Disparities and Inequities in Transportation: Application and Evaluation of the Bayesian Improved Surname Geocoding (BISG) Algorithm

Traffic Injury Prevention
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Sartin EB, Metzger KB, Pfeiffer MR, Myers RK, Curry AE

Applying the BISG algorithm to traffic safety analyses may reduce potential biases commonly found in data collection and analysis related to the use of race and ethnicity data. Its use can ultimately promote more effective and equitable interventions and policies to improve road safety for all.