Family medicine residents' risk of adverse motor vehicle events: comparison between rural and urban placements.


  • Fred Janke University of Alberta
  • Bonnie Dobbs University of Alberta
  • Rhianne McKay University of Alberta
  • Meghan Lindsell University of Alberta
  • Oksana Babenko University of Alberta



Family Medicine Residents, Adverse Motor Vehicle Events, Resident Travel, Rural, Urban


Background: Sleep deprivation and fatigue are associated with long and irregular work hours. These work patterns are common to medical residents. Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are a leading cause of injury related deaths in Canada, with MVC fatality rates in rural areas up to three times higher than in urban areas.

Objectives: To: 1) examine the number of adverse motor vehicle events (AMVEs) in family medicine residents in Canada; 2) assess whether residents with rural placements are at greater risk of experiencing AMVEs than urban residents; and 3) determine if family medicine residency programs across Canada have travel policies in place.

Methodology: A prospective, cross-sectional study, using a national survey of second-year family medicine residents.

Results: A higher percentage of rural residents reported AMVEs than urban residents. The trend was for rural residents to be involved in more MVCs during residency, while urban residents were more likely to be involved in close calls. The majority of Canadian medical schools do not have resident travel policies in place.

Conclusion: AMVEs are common in family medicine residents, with a trend for the number of MVCs to be greater for rural residents. These data support the need for development and incorporation of travel policies by medical schools.


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Author Biographies

Fred Janke, University of Alberta

Associate Professor

Director of Rural and Regional Health

Division of Community Engagement

University of Alberta

Bonnie Dobbs, University of Alberta


Director, Medically At-Risk Driver Centre,

University of Alberta

Rhianne McKay, University of Alberta


Research Coordinator,

Department of Family Medicine,

University of Alberta

Meghan Lindsell, University of Alberta


Research Coordinator,

Medically At-Risk Driver Centre,

University of Alberta

Oksana Babenko, University of Alberta



Medically At-Risk Driver Centre,

University of Alberta


Additional Files



How to Cite

Janke F, Dobbs B, McKay R, Lindsell M, Babenko O. Family medicine residents’ risk of adverse motor vehicle events: comparison between rural and urban placements. Can. Med. Ed. J [Internet]. 2013 Sep. 30 [cited 2023 Sep. 24];4(2):e28-e40. Available from:



Original Research