Assessing the impact of risk-taking behavior on road crash involvement among University students residing in two Mediterranean countries

Constantine N. Antonopoulos, Evi Germeni, Flora Bacopoulou, Vassiliki Kalampoki, Stefanos Maltezos, Ilias Skalkidis, Stella Daskalopoulou, Eva Negri, Eleni Petridou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Surveillance systems are indispensable for injury prevention; yet, detailed electronic records are rarely available. The "Student's Health Card" is a self-reporting electronic tool addressing health issues of University students, while aiming to actively involve them in preventive practices and health promotion. Utilizing data from the injury prevention related section, this study sought to investigate the impact of risk-taking behavior on road crash involvement among University students residing in two Mediterranean countries. A total of 978 University students, 451 Greek and 527 Italian, provided information on prior road crash involvement, as well as on eight behavioral variables, comprising a risky behavior score. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed. The already known tendency for clustering of risky behaviors was evident. One degree increment in the risky behavior score was found to increase the risk of road crash involvement by 35%. Driving after drinking (OR = 2.55, CI = 1.53-4.26), riding with a drunk driver (OR = 2.19, CI = 1.08-4.45) and tobacco smoking (OR = 1.95, CI = 1.18-3.22) significantly multiplied the risk. Despite their better compliance with safety measures, Italian students, compared with Greek, reported worse alcohol-related driving habits and engaged more frequently in mobile phone use while driving. Clustering of risky behaviors was found to be an important predictor of road crash involvement. Screening and awareness of risk-taking propensity of University students could guide early intervention. The "Student's Health Card" could provide, at minimal cost, reliable risk-taking and road crash involvement information, which is needed for both personal risk assessment and surveillance purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-938
Number of pages6
JournalSafety Science
Volume49
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • Risk-taking
  • Student health services
  • Traffic accidents
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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