Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash for Older Adults After Receiving a Traffic Charge: A Case–Crossover Study

After the age of 65, the number of motor vehicle crashes per mile driven increases. Traffic-related charges issued by law enforcement can help identify drivers who are at a higher risk of having a crash. This study examines the relationship between motor vehicle crashes and traffic-related charges among older adult drivers. Iowa Department of Transportation crash data from 2011–2012 were linked with Iowa Court Information System data for moving violations that occurred during 2009–2012 for drivers over the age of 50. A time-stratified case–crossover design was used matching on time periods 1 year apart. Case exposure was defined as having a traffic-related charge 30 days before the crash. Control exposure was the same 30-day time period 1 year before the crash for each individual. Conditional logistic regression was used to analyze the self-matched pairs. Additional time periods of 31–60, 61–90, 91–120, 121–150, 151–180, and 181–210 days before the crash were also assessed. There were 38,171 adults at least 50 years of age with an Iowa driver's license who were involved in a crash in Iowa between 2011 and 2012. In addition, 13,129 adults over the age of 50 received a charge during 2009–2012. Relative to the control time period, experiencing a traffic-related charge in the 30-day time period before the crash increased the risk of a crash by 21% (odds ration [OR] = 1.21, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03–1.42) for all drivers included in the study. This crash risk was similar for adults aged 50–64 (OR = 1.20, 95% CI, 1.00–1.45) and adults 65 and older (OR = 1.24, 95% CI, 0.90–1.72). In the 30 days after receiving a traffic-related charge, the risk of a crash was also increased for crashes occurring in adverse weather (OR = 1.79, 95% CI, 1.12–2.84) or during night, dawn, or twilight (OR = 1.89, 95% CI, 1.31–2.72). A traffic-related charge for an adult over the age of 50 indicates an increased risk of experiencing a crash in the 30 days following the charge. The risk for crashes occurring in adverse conditions or outside of daylight hours was also increased in the 30 days after receiving a traffic-related charge. The risk of experiencing a crash decreases as time passes after receiving a charge. Measures to restrict or increase driving safety during these conditions could help reduce the crash risk for older adults who receive a traffic-related charge.


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  • Accession Number: 01675795
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 6 2018 3:00PM