ARE OLDER DRIVERS AT HIGHER RISK OF INVOLVEMENT IN COLLISIONS RESULTING IN DEATHS OR NONFATAL INJURIES AMONG THEIR PASSENGERS AND OTHER ROAD USERS?

With increasing numbers of older drivers on the road, public concern has been expressed about the impact of older drivers on traffic safety. This study revisited the question of driver age in relation to the risks of older drivers and others sharing the road with them, including pedestrians, passengers in the same vehicle, and occupants of other vehicles. Using federal data on fatal and nonfatal crashes, injury rates per driver were calculated for different types of road users. In addition, using data supplied by nine insurers, insurance claims per insured vehicle-year were examined by driver age, with a primary focus on injury claims. For fatal crashes, older drivers' major impact on road users other than themselves was an increase in death rates among passengers traveling with them, who also tended to be elderly and thus more vulnerable to injuries. For nonfatal crashes, drivers 75 and older had a 10% higher risk (nearly statistically significant) of involvement in collisions resulting in injuries to occupants in other passenger vehicles compared with 30-59-year old drivers. Also, the oldest drivers had a significant increase in insurance claim rates for vehicle damage and injuries in crashes in which they were deemed to be at fault. These findings suggest that the oldest drivers, a group with the lowest average annual mileage, do pose some risks to occupants of other vehicles, although this risk is far lower than that created by young drivers.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 19 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00960455
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 16 2003 12:00AM