Age related annual crash incidence rate ratios in professional drivers of heavy goods vehicles

Evidence concerning crash risk for older heavy vehicle drivers is sparse, making it difficult to assess if it is prudent to encourage older drivers to remain in the workforce in a climate of labour shortages. The objective of this study was to estimate annual crash rate ratios of older male heavy vehicle drivers relative to their middle aged peers. Data utilized in this study includes all crashes meeting inclusion criteria involving heavy goods vehicles, categorised as rigid trucks and articulated trucks; this data was recorded by the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority. The exposure to the risk of a crash was represented by distance travelled for each vehicle type and year, by age of driver, as estimated by the Australian Survey of Motor Vehicle Use. Negative binomial regression modelling was applied to estimate annual crash incidence rate ratios for male drivers in various age groups. A total of 26,146 crashes occurred in New South Wales during 1999–2006, involving a total of 54,191 vehicles; removing observations that did not meet the inclusion criteria, 19,736 observations remained representing 12,501 crashes. For rigid trucks, the incidence rate ratio for drivers aged 65+ years, compared to 45–54 year olds, was 0.74 (95% CI 0.51, 0.98). For articulated trucks, the annual crash incidence rate ratio for drivers aged 65+ years compared to 45–54 year olds was 1.4 (95% CI 0.96, 1.9), and that for drivers aged 55–64 years compared to 45–54 year olds was 1.1 (95% CI 0.83, 1.3). Older male professional drivers of heavy goods vehicles have lower risk of crashes in rigid vehicles, possibly due to accrued driving experience and self-selection of healthy individuals remaining in the workforce. Thus, encouraging these drivers to remain in the workforce is appropriate in the climate of labour shortages, as this study provides evidence that to do so would not endanger road safety.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01530777
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 17 2014 3:20PM