Time vs. distance as measures of exposure in driving surveys

Accid Anal Prev. 1992 Dec;24(6):679-84. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(92)90021-a.


A survey of drivers carried out in Ontario in 1988 has provided data on time spent driving as well as the distances driven for licensed drivers of both sexes in six age groups and three regions. Substantial differences were found in times, distances, and distance/time ratios among these groups. Men drove 50% greater distances, but spent only 30% more time driving than women; speed, averaged over each day's driving, was lower for older drivers than for younger drivers. Differences in speed reflect differences in the driving done in urban or rural areas, and differences in the opportunity for road crashes; such differences, whether based on units of time or distance, will also affect both the comparisons of accident rates and the perceptions of risk among different groups of drivers. A definition of exposure to risk of road crash is required that considers both time and distance appropriately.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario
  • Sex Factors