Research Papers

Ageing and medical conditions: Implications for managing older driver safety

Filename 6A-Jim-Langford.pdf
Filesize 151 KB
Version 1
Date added May 8, 2011
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Category 2011 CMRSC XXI Halifax
Tags Session 6A
Author/Auteur Jim Langford, Jamie Dow, Émilie Turmel


While physical frailty has been consistently identified as the major contributor to older drivers’ predominance in fatality and serious injury crash statistics, it is not the sole explanation. Many researchers have pointed to the relationship between ageing, the onset of medical conditions and subsequent reduced fitness to drive as a further contributing factor. The Societe de l’assurance automobile du Québec has established a data bank combining licence, universal health care and road crash records for a three-year period, covering all licensed drivers during the period. This paper has used the databank to: quantify the association between ageing and general health deterioration; and quantify the association between ageing and the onset of those medical conditions known to have a heightened crash risk. The analyses have shown that ageing was strongly associated with: a general health deterioration - and the more severe the deterioration, the stronger the association; and an increased likelihood of incurring one or more of the specific medical conditions with a heightened crash risk. However it was concluded that the relatively modest increases in crash risk associated with the specified conditions, together with older drivers’ propensity to manage their own safety, especially through changes to the quality and quantity of their driving, caution against an over- reaction to the high prevalence of at-risk medical conditions.

Jim Langford, Jamie Dow, Émilie Turmel