Distracted and Impaired Driving Among U.S. Adolescents, 2019, USA

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Distracted driving, the act of focusing on something else while operating a vehicle, is a significant health problem among adolescents. Although some studies have reported on prevalence among adolescents in the United States, limited studies have examined differences by sexual identity status. The purpose of the present study was to examine past 30-day distracted driving by sexual identity status among a large, national sample of adolescents ages 14 to 18 years. A secondary analysis was conducted on the 2019 Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System (YRBSS) data, and associations between distracted driving and demographics (e.g., biological sex, age, race/ethnicity) were assessed with weighted logistic regression analyses. A total of 13,590 adolescents ages 14 to 18 years were part of the final analytic sample. Twenty-three percent of adolescents reported distracted driving in the past 30 days. Compared with heterosexual adolescents, gay/lesbian (14.3%), bisexual (18.1%), and questioning (12.9%) adolescents reported lower distracted driving in the past 30 days. Findings through a health equity approach may inform harm reduction efforts and behavioral interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • disparities
  • driving
  • health promotion
  • interventions


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