The potential crash and injury reduction benefits of safer vehicle choices for older drivers in Australia and New Zealand

Monash University Accident Research Centre - Report #315 [2012]

Authors: Budd, L., Scully, M., Newstead, S.V. & Watson, L.

Full report in .pdf format [2462Kb]


The OECD has identified vehicle choice amongst older drivers as in part contributing to their higher rates of death and serious injury in road crashes. This study aimed to quantify the effects of older driver vehicle choice in Australia and New Zealand on injury outcomes in the range of crashes in which older drivers are typically involved. It also aimed to quantify the potential reductions in older driver road trauma that could be achieved through safer vehicle choices. Data analysed was Police-reported crashes in Australia and New Zealand involving drivers aged 65 years or above.

Profiles of vehicle ownership by older drivers and their associated secondary safety performance were identified in the analysis. Analysis also identified the profile of crash types in which older drivers are typically involved and the average risk and severity of injury in these crashes. Profiles were examined by age, gender and jurisdiction of older driver to identify systematic differences related to these characteristics and hence where the greatest potential for reducing older driver road trauma by safer vehicle choices could be found. Finally, safer vehicle choice scenarios were developed and assessed based on their potential to reduce fatal and serious injuries in older drivers. Strategies for improving older driver vehicle choice are discussed.

This project was funded as contract research by the following organisations:

Centre for Road Safety - Transport for NSW, Royal Automobile Club of Victoria Ltd, NRMA Motoring and Services, VicRoads, Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia Ltd, Transport Accident Commission, New Zealand Transport Agency, the New Zealand Automobile Association, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Royal Automobile Club of Queensland, Royal Automobile Association of South Australia, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure South Australia and by grants from the Australian Government Department of Transport and Infrastructure, and the Road Safety Council of Western Australia.