As an ASPPH Public Health Fellow hosted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Office of Impaired Driving and Occupant Protection, Ms. Morgan Drexler, a graduate of Saint Louis University’s College for Public Health and Social Justice, is presenting a poster at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual meeting this October 2020. The poster, entitled “Alcohol-Impaired Driving, What We Can Learn from Mental health and Risky Behaviors”, utilizes data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Behavioral Health Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS). Ms. Drexler completed analyses assessing the association between alcohol-impaired driving and 1) self-reported poor mental health days, and 2) self-reported risky behaviors (HIV risk, non-seat belt use, and cigarette use).
The results demonstrate a relationship between alcohol-impaired driving and 1) poor mental health and 2) the selected risky behaviors. The findings can be used to inform alcohol-impaired driving prevention programs seeking to encompass upstream deterrence approaches, by incorporating mental health promotion or risky behavior prevention strategies. Impaired driving is a persistent problem in the United States with over 10,000 traffic fatalities reported annually that involve at least one alcohol-impaired driver. Ms. Drexler is working to bring a public health lens to impaired driving prevention mechanisms and decrease the problem through her fellowship. This poster presentation will serve as an opportunity to bring awareness to the problem of impaired driving and potential avenues to prevent impaired driving.