Depressed teenagers are more likely to cause accidents than those who aren’t, according to a study from the journal Injury Prevention.
The aptly-named journal found that among already-risky teenage drivers, those who are depressed are more likely to speed and not wear seat belts, which journal authors believed was a translation of self-destructive behaviors (underage drinking, unprotected sex, smoking) into the realm of driving. Those at risk of mental distress are more likely to “engage in dangerous driving activity,” according to the study.
Over one thousand young drivers were surveyed for this report, as conducted by the Center for Accident Research and Road Safety at Australia’s Queensland University. They believe that a psychological survey designed to screen young drivers for signs of depression could prevent them from obtaining driver’s licenses, thereby minimizing the risk of dangerous driving on the roads.
Problem is, the researchers haven’t exactly determined what this “risky behavior” is—plenty of people admit to speeding, after all, and this narrow definition doesn’t include more dangerous and distracting activities such as using a cell phone. The report leans heavily on self-reported behavior and not concrete, clinical analysis, which could skew results. More work is needed to make a conclusion—but either way, Dashboard Confessional is a band, rather than an activity to partake in while driving.