Understanding fatal older road user crash circumstances and risk factors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: This study used medicolegal data to investigate fatal older road user (ORU) crash circumstances and risk factors relating to four key components of the Safe System approach (e.g., roads and roadsides, vehicles, road users, and speeds) to identify areas of priority for targeted prevention activity. Methods: The Coroners Court of Victoria's Surveillance Database was searched to identify coronial records with at least one deceased ORU in the state of Victoria, Australia, for 2013–2014. Information relating to the ORU, crash characteristics and circumstances, and risk factors was extracted and analyzed. Results: The average rate of fatal ORU crashes per 100,000 population was 8.1 (95% confidence interval [CI] 6.0–10.2), which was more than double the average rate of fatal middle-aged road user crashes (3.6, 95% CI 2.5–4.6). There was a significant relationship between age group and deceased road user type (χ2(15, N = 226) = 3.56, p < 0.001). The proportion of deceased drivers decreased with age, whereas the proportion of deceased pedestrians increased with age. The majority of fatal ORU crashes involved a counterpart (another vehicle: 59.4%; fixed/stationary object: 25.4%), and occurred “on road” (87.0%), on roads that were paved (94.2%), dry (74.2%), and had light traffic volume (38.3%). Road user error was identified by the police and/or coroner for the majority of fatal ORU crashes (57.9%), with a significant proportion of deceased ORU deemed to have “misjudged” (40.9%) or “failed to yield” (37.9%). Conclusions: Road user error was the most significant risk factor identified in fatal ORU crashes, which suggests that there is a limited capacity of the Victorian road system to fully accommodate road user errors. Initiatives related to safer roads and roadsides, vehicles, and speed zones, as well as behavioral approaches, are key areas of priority for targeted activity to prevent fatal older road user crashes in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S181-S183
Number of pages3
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Volume19
Issue numberS1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • fatal older road user crashes
  • medicolegal data
  • Older road users
  • road safety
  • Safe System approach

Cite this

@article{7889f54920704095ba7b8108281a0680,
title = "Understanding fatal older road user crash circumstances and risk factors",
abstract = "Objective: This study used medicolegal data to investigate fatal older road user (ORU) crash circumstances and risk factors relating to four key components of the Safe System approach (e.g., roads and roadsides, vehicles, road users, and speeds) to identify areas of priority for targeted prevention activity. Methods: The Coroners Court of Victoria's Surveillance Database was searched to identify coronial records with at least one deceased ORU in the state of Victoria, Australia, for 2013–2014. Information relating to the ORU, crash characteristics and circumstances, and risk factors was extracted and analyzed. Results: The average rate of fatal ORU crashes per 100,000 population was 8.1 (95{\%} confidence interval [CI] 6.0–10.2), which was more than double the average rate of fatal middle-aged road user crashes (3.6, 95{\%} CI 2.5–4.6). There was a significant relationship between age group and deceased road user type (χ2(15, N = 226) = 3.56, p < 0.001). The proportion of deceased drivers decreased with age, whereas the proportion of deceased pedestrians increased with age. The majority of fatal ORU crashes involved a counterpart (another vehicle: 59.4{\%}; fixed/stationary object: 25.4{\%}), and occurred “on road” (87.0{\%}), on roads that were paved (94.2{\%}), dry (74.2{\%}), and had light traffic volume (38.3{\%}). Road user error was identified by the police and/or coroner for the majority of fatal ORU crashes (57.9{\%}), with a significant proportion of deceased ORU deemed to have “misjudged” (40.9{\%}) or “failed to yield” (37.9{\%}). Conclusions: Road user error was the most significant risk factor identified in fatal ORU crashes, which suggests that there is a limited capacity of the Victorian road system to fully accommodate road user errors. Initiatives related to safer roads and roadsides, vehicles, and speed zones, as well as behavioral approaches, are key areas of priority for targeted activity to prevent fatal older road user crashes in the future.",
keywords = "fatal older road user crashes, medicolegal data, Older road users, road safety, Safe System approach",
author = "Sjaan Koppel and Lyndal Bugeja and Daisy Smith and Ashne Lamb and Jeremy Dwyer and Michael Fitzharris and Stuart Newstead and Angelo D'Elia and Judith Charlton",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
day = "28",
doi = "10.1080/15389588.2018.1426911",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
pages = "S181--S183",
journal = "Traffic Injury Prevention",
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publisher = "Taylor & Francis",
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Understanding fatal older road user crash circumstances and risk factors. / Koppel, Sjaan; Bugeja, Lyndal; Smith, Daisy; Lamb, Ashne; Dwyer, Jeremy; Fitzharris, Michael; Newstead, Stuart; D'Elia, Angelo; Charlton, Judith.

In: Traffic Injury Prevention, Vol. 19, No. S1, 28.02.2018, p. S181-S183.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Understanding fatal older road user crash circumstances and risk factors

AU - Koppel, Sjaan

AU - Bugeja, Lyndal

AU - Smith, Daisy

AU - Lamb, Ashne

AU - Dwyer, Jeremy

AU - Fitzharris, Michael

AU - Newstead, Stuart

AU - D'Elia, Angelo

AU - Charlton, Judith

PY - 2018/2/28

Y1 - 2018/2/28

N2 - Objective: This study used medicolegal data to investigate fatal older road user (ORU) crash circumstances and risk factors relating to four key components of the Safe System approach (e.g., roads and roadsides, vehicles, road users, and speeds) to identify areas of priority for targeted prevention activity. Methods: The Coroners Court of Victoria's Surveillance Database was searched to identify coronial records with at least one deceased ORU in the state of Victoria, Australia, for 2013–2014. Information relating to the ORU, crash characteristics and circumstances, and risk factors was extracted and analyzed. Results: The average rate of fatal ORU crashes per 100,000 population was 8.1 (95% confidence interval [CI] 6.0–10.2), which was more than double the average rate of fatal middle-aged road user crashes (3.6, 95% CI 2.5–4.6). There was a significant relationship between age group and deceased road user type (χ2(15, N = 226) = 3.56, p < 0.001). The proportion of deceased drivers decreased with age, whereas the proportion of deceased pedestrians increased with age. The majority of fatal ORU crashes involved a counterpart (another vehicle: 59.4%; fixed/stationary object: 25.4%), and occurred “on road” (87.0%), on roads that were paved (94.2%), dry (74.2%), and had light traffic volume (38.3%). Road user error was identified by the police and/or coroner for the majority of fatal ORU crashes (57.9%), with a significant proportion of deceased ORU deemed to have “misjudged” (40.9%) or “failed to yield” (37.9%). Conclusions: Road user error was the most significant risk factor identified in fatal ORU crashes, which suggests that there is a limited capacity of the Victorian road system to fully accommodate road user errors. Initiatives related to safer roads and roadsides, vehicles, and speed zones, as well as behavioral approaches, are key areas of priority for targeted activity to prevent fatal older road user crashes in the future.

AB - Objective: This study used medicolegal data to investigate fatal older road user (ORU) crash circumstances and risk factors relating to four key components of the Safe System approach (e.g., roads and roadsides, vehicles, road users, and speeds) to identify areas of priority for targeted prevention activity. Methods: The Coroners Court of Victoria's Surveillance Database was searched to identify coronial records with at least one deceased ORU in the state of Victoria, Australia, for 2013–2014. Information relating to the ORU, crash characteristics and circumstances, and risk factors was extracted and analyzed. Results: The average rate of fatal ORU crashes per 100,000 population was 8.1 (95% confidence interval [CI] 6.0–10.2), which was more than double the average rate of fatal middle-aged road user crashes (3.6, 95% CI 2.5–4.6). There was a significant relationship between age group and deceased road user type (χ2(15, N = 226) = 3.56, p < 0.001). The proportion of deceased drivers decreased with age, whereas the proportion of deceased pedestrians increased with age. The majority of fatal ORU crashes involved a counterpart (another vehicle: 59.4%; fixed/stationary object: 25.4%), and occurred “on road” (87.0%), on roads that were paved (94.2%), dry (74.2%), and had light traffic volume (38.3%). Road user error was identified by the police and/or coroner for the majority of fatal ORU crashes (57.9%), with a significant proportion of deceased ORU deemed to have “misjudged” (40.9%) or “failed to yield” (37.9%). Conclusions: Road user error was the most significant risk factor identified in fatal ORU crashes, which suggests that there is a limited capacity of the Victorian road system to fully accommodate road user errors. Initiatives related to safer roads and roadsides, vehicles, and speed zones, as well as behavioral approaches, are key areas of priority for targeted activity to prevent fatal older road user crashes in the future.

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KW - medicolegal data

KW - Older road users

KW - road safety

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