Decreased Healthcare Resource Utilization Associated with Enhancement of a State Graduated Driver Licensing Law

In 2007, Ohio implemented additional graduated driver licensing (GDL) provisions to restrict numbers of passengers and nighttime driving. This study evaluated the effects of Ohio's revised GDL law on hospital resource utilization among drivers and occupants involved in crashes with teen drivers ages 16–20 years. Analysis of MVCs involving drivers ages 16–20 years in Ohio prior to GDL enhancement (2004–2006) and immediately following GDL enhancement (2008–2010) using linked crash and hospital data was performed. Descriptive statistics and population-based rates of emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations, and inpatient hospital charges and length of stay were compared. Following enactment of the 2007 GDL provisions, decreases were observed in the number of teen occupants and all-age occupants involved in crashes with drivers ages 16–17 years and 18–20 years. In the post-GDL enhancement period, ED visits declined by 22.2–39.9%, and inpatient hospitalizations declined by 54.4–62.5%. Total hospital charges for teen occupants in crashes with drivers ages 16–20 years decreased by $16.3–32.3 million, and for all-age occupants by $29.5–52.6 million. Decreases in total hospital charges occurred despite increases in mean hospital charges post-GDL enhancement. Total days of hospitalization in the post-GDL enhancement period declined by 60.4–67.7% among teen occupants and 55.5–63.2% among all-age occupants. This study is the first to use linked data to evaluate the effects of GDL on healthcare resource utilization by teen drivers and their occupants. The post-GDL enhancement period was associated with reductions in MVC-related ED visits, inpatient hospitalizations, total hospital charges, and total days of hospitalization. Increases in mean inpatient hospital charges were noted and may indicate a reduction in minor injury crashes. Despite attempts to mitigate the confounding effects of the economy on teen driving, it is likely that economic influences are at least partially responsible for the observed decrease in healthcare resource utilization.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01687206
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 16 2018 3:05PM