Transporting young passengers while impaired and reckless: examining driver and crash characteristics

Although drunk driving in the United States is a violent crime, driving impaired with a child in the vehicle is not typically acknowledged as child endangerment. The U.S. Department of Transportation and advocacy groups are struggling to improve public awareness of this issue, and recently, child-endangerment laws are receiving more attention. For this study, we examined the characteristics of drivers transporting young children who were alcohol-positive, speeding, or failed to obey a traffic signal at the time of the crash. Using the 1982-2010 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), we examined drivers aged 21 or older who were transporting young passengers (age less than15 years). Approximately 21 per cent of all fatally injured drivers who were transporting children were alcohol-positive. The prevalence of these drivers has decreased over time, from 33 per cent (1982-1986) to 19 per cent (2006-2010). The proportion of women who were drinking and driving (with children in the vehicle) increased from 34.4 per cent in 1982 to 47.1 per cent in 2010. Although not statistically significant, the proportion also increased for speeding and traffic sign violations (red lights, traffic stops). These findings replicate those of previous studies showing an overall reduction in drinking and driving and an increase in drinking and driving among women (even when transporting children) in the past 28 years.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 398-403
  • Monograph Title: 20th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference Proceedings, 25-28 August 2013, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01495691
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 17 2013 10:13AM