Ageing drivers: Storm in a teacup?
Tay, Richard S. (2006) Ageing drivers: Storm in a teacup? Accident Analysis and Prevention, 38(1), pp. 112-121.
The purpose of this paper is to address two important issues regarding ageing drivers. First, there is a presumption in the road safety arena that the expected increase in the number of ageing drivers on the roads will lead to an increase in crashes. Second, despite extensive research on ageing drivers, especially on their increased vulnerability and reduced driving abilities, the most widely recommended road safety strategy relates to the control of their driving licenses. This presumption and the associated policy recommendation are based mainly on the higher relative crash risks associated with ageing drivers compared to their younger counterparts. This study, however, argues that the average crash risks obtained in previous studies provide only indirect information concerning these issues and any decision based on these results may produce unexpected outcomes. An analytical framework to examine the marginal effect of changing the driver mix on the roads is proposed and a simple empirical model is estimated as an illustration. In contrast to previous studies, we found that increasing the number of licenses issued to ageing drivers had only an insignificant impact on the number of fatal crashes on the roads, suggesting that the concern over ageing drivers may be a storm in a teacup.
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