Older driver population and crash involvement trends, 1974-1988

Accid Anal Prev. 1992 Aug;24(4):317-27. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(92)90044-j.


North Carolina motor vehicle crash data for even-numbered years 1974-1988, inclusive, are analyzed in conjunction with North Carolina population, licensed driver, and mileage data to examine trends in motor vehicle crash involvement by driver age, sex, and race. Crash rates per licensed driver are presented along with crash rates per estimated vehicle miles travelled calculated on the basis of induced exposure. Results focus particularly on older drivers. They show that older drivers' representation in the licensed driver population has increased at a greater rate than their representation in either the census or crash involvement populations. These trends are particularly strong for females and for nonwhites. Furthermore, crash rates have declined more for drivers aged 55 and older than for younger drivers. The greatest declines, both in terms of crashes per licensed driver and crashes per estimated miles travelled, have been experienced by drivers age 65 and older, particularly nonwhites. Males show higher overall crash rates per miles travelled than females, but this effect decreases with age and disappears entirely in the oldest age categories. Results are discussed in light of the changing nature of the overall driving population and the cohort of older drivers in particular.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Accidents, Traffic / trends
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors