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Accid Anal Prev. 1998 Sep;30(5):569-81.

Crash risks of older drivers: a panel data analysis.

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Center for Transportation Analysis, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN 37831-6073, USA.


Considerable progress has been made on understanding older drivers' safety issues. None the less, findings from previous research have been rather inconclusive. Differences in data and research methodology have been suggested as factors that contribute to the discrepancies in previous findings. One of the methodological limitations is the lack of considering temporal order between events (i.e. the time between onset of medical condition, symptom and crash). Without time-series data, a 'snap-shot' of medical conditions and driving patterns were often linked to more than 1 year--of crash data, hoping to accumulate enough data on crashes. The interpretation of the results from these studies is difficult in that one cannot explicitly attribute the increase in highway crash rates to medical conditions and/or physical limitations. This paper uses a panel data analysis to identify factors that place older drivers at greater crash risk. Our results show that factors that place female drivers at greater crash risk are different from those influencing male drivers. More risk factors were found to be significant in affecting older men's involvement in crashes than older women. When the analysis controlled for the amount of driving, women who live alone or who experience back pain were found to have a higher crash risk. Similarly, men who are employed, score low on word-recall tests, have a history of glaucoma, or use antidepressant drugs were found to have a higher crash risk. The most influential risk factors in men were the number of miles driven, and use of antidepressants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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