Assessing and managing older drivers? crash risk using safe system principles.
Keywords: Older Drivers/Users
Submission Date: 2006
The last decade has seen a large amount of road safety effort put into investigating the so-
called ?older driver problem?. As a consequence, our knowledge of older drivers and their
functional performance, their driving and crash patterns and their crash risk, has increased
substantially. However the research has given little direct attention to the special challenges
that older drivers pose to a Safe System approach to road safety.
During this same decade, Australasian jurisdictions have increasingly accepted a Safe System approach to managing road safety.
Main components of this strategy include:
? it is accepted that crashes will continue to occur, prevention efforts notwithstanding;
? the key task is to manage vehicles, the road infrastructure and speeds in order to
minimise the probability of death and serious injury as a consequence of a road crash;
? individual road user responsibilities and behavioural countermeasures are not
dismissed but are explicitly presented as supporting components of the Safe System.
This paper aims to evaluate the latest research findings:
? to assess the extent and nature of older drivers? crash risk in both absolute and
? to identify the array of effective countermeasures compatible with Safe System
Topics covered include: physical frailty, the low mileage bias, fitness to drive, self-regulation,
safer roads, safer cars and safer road users.