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Am J Prev Med. 2008 Sep;35(3 Suppl):S304-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.06.014.

From the exam room to behind the wheel: can healthcare providers affect automobile morbidity and mortality in teens?

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  • 1Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Children's National Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, George Washington University, 111 Michigan Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20020, USA.


Despite clear evidence that motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of mortality and severe morbidity among adolescents and young adults, healthcare providers have not been fully engaged in efforts to reduce these rates. A new national awareness and effort to reduce motor-vehicle crashes provides an opportunity to engage healthcare providers and encourage them to play an active role in curbing crash rates. Indeed, research supports the notion that, when provided with adequate knowledge, training, and charting tools or electronic prompts, healthcare providers can increase their rates of screening, educating, and counseling youth and their parents about safe driving and that these efforts can be effective at increasing safety and reducing risk. Healthcare providers' efforts to advocate for safer driving laws and regulations are also important efforts in reducing youth driving risk.

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