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Traffic Inj Prev. 2004 Jun;5(2):112-6.

Association between older driver characteristics, on-road driving test performance, and crash liability.

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  • 1Land Transport Safety Authority, Wellington, New Zealand.


From May 1999, a new system for licensing older drivers was introduced in New Zealand. It included a practical on-road driving test with expanded scope, to be completed every two years from the time the driver turns 80. The relationship between crashes and test performance needed to be studied to inform the debate regarding the testing system. The population studied was all drivers who entered this licensing system during its first three years of operation. They were defined as crash involved if they were involved in an injury crash during the two years following their first licensure under the new system. Logistic regression was used to describe the risk of crash involvement in terms of driving test performance and other driver characteristics. Each driving test failure was associated with a 33% increase in the odds of crash involvement (95% CI 14% to 55%), controlling for age, gender, minor traffic violations, and whether the older driver lived with another licensed driver or not. Minor traffic violations in the two years following the driving test were associated with twice the odds of crash involvement. These results suggest that the new on-road driving test does identify older driver behaviors or limitations that are related to crash liability. It is anticipated that the results presented here will provide essential information for discussing older driver licensing systems, whose impact will grow in importance as the population of drivers ages.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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