LOS ANGELES — A new study in the Academic Emergency Medicine journal shows that women may be catching up to men in risky behavior when they're behind the wheel.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for adolescents, and alcohol use is a predictor for fatal crash occurrence, according to the study.
Over the course of the 10-year study period, researchers investigated 139,000 fatal crashes in all age groups.
Young females had 13% overall lower proportion of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes, the research showed. However, when accounting for change over a 10-year period, young female drivers showed a similar increase in alcohol-related fatal crashes as that seen in young males.
This increase was especially apparent in the older, legal drinking age group of 21-24 years. In restraint use data, males showed overall less seatbelt use by 17.9%, but a greater increase in use over the study period than females.
Drivers with alcohol in their blood had a 31% lower restraint use than drivers without, according to the study.
When combined with other factors — cell phone use and distractions from teenagers among them — the trends for young women were not found to be positive.
Sources: KNBC-TV & Automotive Fleet