The role of exposure in comparisons of crash risk among different drivers and driving environments

Accid Anal Prev. 1993 Apr;25(2):207-11. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(93)90061-z.


Crash rates based on drivers, driver-kilometers, and driver-days in the denominator were compared, using survey estimates of time and distance driven and the annual frequency of traffic crashes in Ontario. Rates by age, sex, and region were computed for all crashes and for crashes resulting in injury or fatality. Young male drivers remained at high risk for all types of denominator; older women had high rates when distance was included in the denominator. When time spent driving was substituted, men and women drivers over 60 had very similar rates. For comparisons of rural residents with urban and northern residents, time and distance give equivalent results. These findings suggest that apparent differences in crash risk per kilometre, whether for older women or for urban drivers, is explained by differences in typical driving speed and environment. Exposure time is better than distance to explain crash risk among drivers and regions with very different driving patterns and environments.

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 / standards*
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors