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Public Health. 1998 Sep;112(5):289-95.

Age-specific patterns of factors related to fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes: focus on young and elderly drivers.

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Environmental Risk Assessment and Case Surveillance Division, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control (LCDC), Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


This population-based study examines patterns of fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes (MVTCs) by age group (16-24, 25-64, 65+) among Canadian drivers. The Canadian Traffic Accident Information Databank (TRAID) provided information about fata MVTCs between 1984 and 1993. Distribution of risk factors was compared by age group. Crude odds ratios and 95% CIs were calculated for both young and elderly drivers compared with middle-aged drivers. The middle-age group was selected as reference population since it demonstrates the lowest risk of fatality. Compared to the middle-aged group, young drivers demonstrated excess risk for (1) risk-taking behaviours and conditions, specifically alcohol and illicit drug use, speeding, non use of seat belts, fatigue and falling asleep, and inexperience; (2) crashes during the summer, during weekends and at night; and (3) single-vehicle collisions and on performing overtaking manoeuvres. Excess risk among elderly drivers was noted for (1) medical and physical conditions, inattention and inexperience; (2) driver actions, for example, improper turning, failure to yield right-to-way; (3) occurrence on weekdays and during the day; and (4) collisions at intersection and vehicle--vehicle sideswipes. The results show notable differences in risk factors by age group and confirm the need for preventive efforts that incorporate age-specific strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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