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Developmental Disabilities and Driving

CHOP's Teen Driver Safety Research team is currently conducting rigorous research on teens and young adults with developmental disabilities to examine their rates of licensure and risk of crashing to help establish the epidemiologic foundation for future translational research. Two-thirds of high functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) of legal driving age are either currently driving or plan to drive, according to previous research conducted at CHOP.

This unique program of research on developmental disabilities and driving is led by Allison E. Curry, PhD, MPH, a senior scientist and director of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at CHOP. Her research involves linking data from two sources: 1.) electronic health records for over 114,000 CHOP patients born between 1987 and 1995 in NJ, and 2.) the New Jersey Traffic Safety Outcomes Program database, a rich unique database that includes the full licensing, citation, and crash history of every NJ driver.  The research is being conducted in collaboration with The Center for Autism Research at CHOP and The Center for the Management of ADHD at CHOP:

  • Longitudinal Study of Adverse Driving Outcomes Among Adolescents With ADHD
    Although previous research suggests that adolescents and young adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are at heightened risk of crashing, we still know little about the specific mechanisms by which ADHD influences crash risk. This groundbreaking study will be the largest and first truly longitudinal study focused on examining the risk of unsafe behaviors (via citations) and crashes throughout adolescence and young adulthood (ages 16-25) among a general population of children diagnosed with ADHD. This study will provide the evidence base needed to inform the development of medical, behavioral, and technological interventions and support CHOP's long-term goal of developing tailored interventions to ensure safe driving behaviors among teens with ADHD.

  • Examination of Driving Outcomes Among Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect 1 out of every 68 children. Many adolescents with high-functioning ASD plan to drive but have important deficits in body coordination and in their ability to control and coordinate thoughts and behaviors that may impact their ability to drive safely. This study will provide evidence to support the development of interventions to meet the unique needs of teens with ASD.


This research is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health & Development and a CHOP Foerderer Grant for Excellence.

This research is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health & Development and a CHOP Foerderer Grant for Excellence - See more at: http://www.teendriversource.org/more_pages/page/developmental_disabilities_and_driving/researcher#sthash.VnZ1hcoj.dpuf

    For more information on this research, please contact Allison Curry, PhD, MPH at (215) 590-3118 or currya@email.chop.edu.

    This research was supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm®).

    - See more at: http://www.teendriversource.org/more_pages/page/chop_young_driver_research_gdl_compliance_and_enforcement/researcher#sthash.vGuIdOo3.dpuf

    For more information on this research, please contact Allison Curry, PhD, MPH at (215) 590-3118 or currya@email.chop.edu.

    This research was supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm®).

    - See more at: http://www.teendriversource.org/more_pages/page/chop_young_driver_research_gdl_compliance_and_enforcement/researcher#sthash.vGuIdOo3.dpuf

    For more information on this research, please contact Allison Curry, PhD, MPH at (215) 590-3118 or currya@email.chop.edu.

    This research was supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm®).

    - See more at: http://www.teendriversource.org/more_pages/page/chop_young_driver_research_gdl_compliance_and_enforcement/researcher#sthash.2NFR9oXa.dpuf

    For more information on this research, please contact Allison Curry, PhD, MPH at (215) 590-3118 or currya@email.chop.edu.

    This research was supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm®).

    - See more at: http://www.teendriversource.org/more_pages/page/chop_young_driver_research_gdl_compliance_and_enforcement/researcher#sthash.2NFR9oXa.dpuf

developmental_disabilities_and_driving_research

For more information on this research, please contact Dr. Curry at (215) 590-3118 or currya@email.chop.edu.

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