Findings from the Candrive/Ozcandrive study: Low mileage older drivers, crash risk and reduced fitness to drive Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Previous research has found that only older drivers with low annual driving mileages had a heightened crash risk relative to other age groups. These drivers tend to drive mainly in urban areas, where the prevalence of complex traffic situations increases crash risk. However it might also be that some drivers may have reduced their driving due to perceived or actual declines in driving fitness. This paper uses Canadian and Australian data from the Candrive/Ozcandrive older driver study to investigate the association between annual driving distances and a set of driving-related factors, including fitness to drive. All drivers in the Candrive/Ozcandrive older driver cohort study were allocated to one of three groups according to their self-reported annual driving distances: <5001km; >5000 and <15,000km; and 15,000km or greater. Relationships between these driving-distance categories and: (a) self-reported crash data; (b) various Year 1 'fitness to drive' performance measures; and (c) self-perceptions of driving ability and of comfort while driving, were determined. Results confirmed the previously reported association between low mileage and heightened crash risk. Further, low mileage drivers performed relatively poorly on a wide range of performance measures, perceived their own driving ability as lower, and reported lower comfort levels when driving in challenging situations, compared to the higher mileage drivers. In most instances, these differences were statistically significant. The paper provides further evidence that the so-called 'older driver problem' is most pertinent to low mileage drivers, and that this is due in part to low mileage drivers tending to have reduced fitness to drive. This higher risk group represented a fairly small proportion of the sample in this study.

authors

  • Langford, Jim
  • Charlton, Judith L
  • Koppel, Sjaan
  • Myers, Anita
  • Tuokko, Holly
  • Marshall, Shawn
  • Man-Son-Hing, Malcolm
  • Darzins, Peteris
  • Di Stefano, Marilyn
  • Macdonald, Wendy

publication date

  • December 2013