Human factors in rural road crashes

Aust J Public Health. 1992 Sep;16(3):269-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.1992.tb00065.x.


An in-depth study of 79 vehicle crashes on rural roads in an area of about 100 km radius around Adelaide examined sociodemographic and psychophysiological characteristics of the drivers and riders involved. In many respects this sample of crashes was similar to a much larger number of police-reported crashes in the same area but included: relatively more crashes with severe or fatal injuries; more crashes on divided roads, on sealed roads and on curves; and more crashes involving trucks. Alcohol and lack of seat belt use were shown to be major problems in these rural crashes. The drivers and riders most strongly associated with these particular problems were males, in blue collar occupations and with limited education; they tended to be aged 30 years or more in the case of alcohol abuse, and were likely to be under 30 years in the case of restraint misuse. The attitudes of these drivers and riders, and other characteristics likely to have contributed to their involvement in a crash, are discussed. There is a need to develop specific and effective countermeasures to reduce drink-driving and increase seat belt wearing in rural areas.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Educational Status
  • Ethanol / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Seat Belts / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Factors
  • South Australia / epidemiology


  • Ethanol