Adult immigrants are sometimes characterized as unsafe drivers and responsible for excess road crashes. We analyzed Canada's largest and most ethnically diverse province to assess whether recent immigrants had an increased risk of involvement as drivers in serious motor vehicle crashes. Overall, the study included 4,238,222 individuals followed for a median duration of 8.0 years. In total, 10,975 individuals were subsequently admitted to hospital as drivers involved in a crash, with a rate per 100,000 significantly lower among recent immigrants compared to long-term residents (158 vs 289, p<0.001). This difference was equal to a 45% relative reduction in the incidence of a crash (odds ratio=0.55, 95% confidence interval 0.52-0.58), persisted after adjustment for baseline characteristics (hazard ratio=0.61, 95% confidence interval 0.58-0.65), extended to extremes of crash severity, and was accentuated during initial years following immigration. These findings suggest that, contrary to popular opinion, recent immigrants are less prone to be drivers in serious motor vehicle crashes.
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