Individuals diagnosed with psychiatric disorder are at significantly increased risk of death and serious injury, to which motor vehicle collisions may be important contributors. This study examined the association between probable anxiety or mood disorder (AMD) and self-reported collision risk in a large representative sample of the adult population in Ontario.
Based on data from a regionally stratified general-population telephone survey of adults conducted from 2002 through 2009 (N=12,830), a logistic regression analysis examined self-reported collision involvement in the previous 12 months by measures of demographic characteristics, driving exposure, impaired driving behaviour, and probable AMD.
Controlling for demographic variables and potential confounders, probable AMD was associated with an increased risk of collision involvement (OR=1.78, 95% CI=1.37, 2.31).
The use of self-report measures and the potential for bias created by groups excluded because they do not have access to landline telephones represent limitations to the current findings. Nevertheless, the benefits of a large sample derived from general population survey data far outweigh these limitations.
The results suggest that the increased risk of injury and mortality associated with some psychiatric disorders is at least partially related to increased risk of collision involvement. The magnitude of the increase in risk associated with probable AMD is similar to that seen among individuals who drive after drinking or using cannabis. In view of these findings, more work to understand this risk among individuals experiencing probable AMD and how it can be avoided is necessary.