Road crash trends for young drivers in New South Wales, Australia, from 1997 to 2007
Chen HY., Senserrick T., Chang HY., Ivers RQ., Martiniuk AL., Boufous S., Norton R.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of this article was to explore overall crash and injury trends over the past decade for young drivers residing in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, including gender and age disparities. METHODS: Passenger vehicle crashes for drivers aged 17-25 occurring during 1997-2007 were extracted from the state crash database to calculate crash rates (per licensed driver). Generalized linear models were used to examine crash trends over time by severity of driver injury, adjusting for age, gender, rurality of residence, and socioeconomic status. Yearly adjusted relative risks of crash by gender and by age group were also examined over the study period. RESULTS: Young driver noninjury and fatality rates significantly decreased by an average of 4 percent (95% CI: 4-5) and 5 percent (95% CI: 0-9) respectively each year from 1997 to 2007. Young driver injury rates significantly increased by about 12 percent (95% CI: 9-14) to the year 2001 and then significantly decreased. The relative risk of crash (regardless of driver injury) for males compared to females significantly decreased over time. Compared to drivers aged 21-25, drivers aged 17 and particularly 18- to 20-year-olds had significantly and consistently higher crash risks across the study period. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, there has been a significant decline in young driver crashes in NSW over the last decade. Regardless of injury severity, males' risk of crash has reduced more than female young drivers, but drivers aged 17 continue to be at higher risk. These findings provide feedback on potential road safety successes and areas needing specific interventions for future improvements.