History of attempted suicide and reckless driving: A cross-sectional study in primary care

Randy A. Sansone, Charlene Lam, Michael W. Wiederman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: In this study, we explored whether a past history of suicide attempts is associated with a history of reckless driving (ie, driving citations). Method: Using a cross-sectional design in a consecutive sample of primary care outpatients from a suburban setting in Ohio, we surveyed men and women (N = 419), aged 18-65 years, who were seeking nonemergent medical care during April 2009. With yes/no response options, we queried participants about whether they (1) had ever attempted suicide and (2) had tried to hurt or kill themselves. We also asked if they had ever been cited for any of 29 driving violations. After the elimination of participants who responded illogically to the 2 items exploring suicide attempts, the working sample was reduced to 377 participants. Results: According to statistical analyses, compared to participants who did not acknowledge histories of suicide attempts (n = 337), participants who acknowledged histories of suicide attempts (n = 40) were no more likely to report a greater number of different types of moving violations or automobile/motorcycle accidents (ie, high-risk driving behaviors). However, participants with past suicide attempts reported a statistically significantly greater number of different types of nonmoving violations (P=.001) as well as being cited for leaving the scene of an accident (P=.05), driving while intoxicated (P=.001), and having a driver's license revoked (P=.001) than those without past attempts. Conclusions: While a past history of suicide attempts does not appear to overtly predict reckless driving behavior, there appear to be other associated and specific problematic driving behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1-e4
JournalPrimary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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