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Accid Anal Prev. 2006 Sep;38(5):1006-10. Epub 2006 May 22.

Fragility and crash over-representation among older drivers in Western Australia.

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School of Public Health, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U 1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia.


This study assessed age-related and gender differences in the relative contribution of fragility and crash over-representation to serious injuries per crash-involved driver in Western Australia. Police-reported crashes for the period 1998-2003 were extracted from the Western Australian Road Injury Database. For each passenger vehicle driver age and gender group, serious injuries per crash-involved driver and driver involvements in crashes per 100 million vehicle-kilometre travelled (VKT) were calculated as the respective measure of fragility and crash over-representation. Results from the decomposition method of analysis showed that older drivers over the age of 70 sustained serious injury rates more than twice as high as those of the 30-59-year-old drivers. Fragility increased with age, contributing between 47% and 95% for drivers above 65 years, but crash over-representation was the dominant factor for male drivers above 80 years. In contrast, fragility contributed little to the excess injury risk of younger drivers under the age of 30. The importance of fragility as a contributing factor to the inflated serious injury risk per vehicle-kilometre travelled for older drivers suggested that road safety initiatives should be directed towards the protection of vehicle occupants as well as screening for their driving ability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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