The home and school background of young drivers involved in traffic accidents

Accid Anal Prev. 1998 Mar;30(2):169-82. doi: 10.1016/s0001-4575(97)00088-2.


The following study investigates the home and school background of young drivers in Sweden involved in traffic accidents leading to injury. The research sample consists of all young drivers born in 1972 who had been involved in one or several traffic accidents with injury registered by the police during the period of 1988-1994 (age 16-22). In all, 2,980 male and 1,054 female drivers were investigated, classified by the transport mode of car, lorry and bus, motorcycle, moped and bicycle. Information about the family composition and the socioeconomic status of the parents of the young drivers was added from the national census of 1990 and 1985, respectively. The young drivers' school marks in their leaving certificate from compulsory school (at age 16) and educational attainment (at age 20) were obtained from national educational registers. The home and school background of the drivers were compared to a nationally representative sample of men and women of the same age cohort. Estimated risk exposure (driving distance) for car drivers and cyclists from a national travel survey were related to the accident data. The home background of the investigated drivers did not deviate much from the nationally representative sample in the comparison group. The school achievement and school attainment deviated more. The school marks in the school-leaving certificate from compulsory school (at age 16) of all male motor vehicle drivers involved in accidents were below average and men with compulsory education only, and men with a vocational upper secondary education were over-represented among these drivers. Female car drivers involved in accidents also had lower school marks and lower educational attainment than for the male car drivers. The over-representation of low-educated men and women among drivers involved in car accidents could not be explained by a higher risk exposure (driving distances). Thus, educational achievement and attainment were found to be powerful variables explaining accident risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic* / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Educational Status*
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Assessment
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sweden