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J Safety Res. 2011 Feb;42(1):67-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2010.12.001. Epub 2011 Jan 5.

Driving self-restriction in high-risk conditions: how do older drivers compare to others?

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Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.



Many older drivers self-restrict or avoid driving under high-risk conditions. Little is known about the onset of driving self-restrictions or how widespread self-restrictions are among drivers of all ages.


The Second Injury Control and Risk Survey (ICARIS-2) was a nationwide cross-sectional, list-assisted random-digit-dial telephone survey from 2001 to 2003. National prevalence estimates and weighted percentages of those reporting driving self-restrictions were calculated. Multivariable logistic regression was used to explore associations between specific self-restrictions and age group, adjusting for other personal characteristics.


More than half of all drivers reported at least one driving self-restriction. The most commonly reported restriction was avoidance of driving in bad weather (47.5%), followed by at night (27.9%) and on highways or high-speed roads (19%). A greater percentage of young adult women (18-24 years) reported self-restricting in bad weather compared to women in other age groups, and the percentage of drivers self-restricting at night, in bad weather, and on highways or high-speed roads increased steeply after age 64. We found that women, those in low income groups, and those who had driven low annual mileage were more likely to self-restrict.


In addition to assessing self-restrictions among older drivers, a new finding from our study is that self-restrictions are also quite prevalent among younger age groups. Driving self-restrictions may be better understood as a spectrum across ages in which drivers' reasons for restriction change.


Future research on the ability of driving self-restrictions to reduce actual crash risk and prevent injuries is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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