Car accidents by youngsters linked to self-harming behaviour
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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.

PTI


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


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