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Car accidents by youngsters linked to self-harming behaviour

Last Updated: Friday, November 27, 2009 - 19:11

Melbourne: Youngsters, who engage in
self-harming behaviour, are 40 per cent more likely to be
involved in car accidents, Australian scientists have claimed.

According to researchers from George Institute for
International Health, Sydney, the increased crash rate for
self-harmers may indicate they are intentionally using motor
vehicles to injure themselves.

The study led by the advocacy group has found that up
to 17 per cent of Oz people aged 14 and 25 years engage in
self-harming behaviour.

The George Institute classifies self-harm as the
deliberate injuring of oneself and includes cutting, attempted
hanging and poisoning.

They found that about 800 admitted to self-harm.

Females and youths from rural backgrounds were most
likely indulge in self-harming behaviour.

"Self-harm is a significant issue for young people in
Australia," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted institute`s Dr
Alexandra Martiniuk as saying.

"We now know that this also impacts considerably on
young driver safety, as we found that those drivers who
engaged in self-harm were at a 40 per cent increased risk of a
crash," she added.

Other risk factors included a higher proportion of
driving time and less sleep compared with other drivers. Drug
and alcohol use also increased the chances of self-harm.

"A particularly worrying trend shown in our findings is
that most of the self-harm related crashes involved multiple
vehicles," said Martiniuk.


First Published: Friday, November 27, 2009 - 19:11
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