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Free Content Age, gender and early morning highway accidents

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Accident register data, time budget studies and road traffic flow data were used to compute the age and gender-dependent relative risk [odds ratio (OR)] of being involved in a driving accident in which the driver was injured or killed. Alcohol-related accidents were excluded from the analysis. The results showed that the night-time risk, compared with that of the forenoon, was dramatically increased (OR=5) for young drivers (18–24 years) and reduced for old (65+) drivers. In direct comparison, the young drivers had 5–10 times higher risk of being involved in an accident during late night than during the forenoon, with the excess risk during the daytime being considerably lower. Women had a less pronounced night-time peak than men. In direct comparison, men had twice as high a risk as women during the late night hours. The results clearly demonstrate a strong effect of young age on night-time accident risk, together with a moderate effect of (male) gender.

Keywords: accidents; age; circadian; driving; fatigue; gender; time of day

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: National Institute for Psychosocial Factors and Health and Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: June 1, 2001


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