Talk title here Presented by Name

Report
Sydney, AUSTRALIA | Beijing, CHINA | Hyderabad, INDIA | London, UK
Affiliated with the University of Sydney
Socio-economic status and crash risk in
young drivers
A/Professor Rebecca Ivers
2
Over-representation of youth in road
trauma

#1 cause of death & acquired disability of
adolescents & young adults

NSW novice drivers (<26 years of age)
 15% licensed driver population
 36% road fatalities

NSW 17 year-old drivers in first stage of licensing
 4x more likely to be involved in fatal crash than driver 26+
Inexperience primary contributing
factor
Figure 1. Casualty crashes in Victoria by years licensed, 2000-2006
(VicRoads, 2008)
Novice drivers in the UK
Lynam et al, 2006
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The social gradient of injury
 The social class gradient in injury is well documented,
especially for children (Towner and Dowswell, 2001)




Drowning
Choking
House fires (15 times increased risk)
Road injury (5 times increased risk)
 Risk of injury increases with deprivation (Laflamme
and Diderichsen, 2000)
 Gap in deprivation is increasing in the UK
 Increased risk reflects differential exposure of children
to various hazards (rather than differences in behaviour)
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Life expectancy and income level
8
Marmot Review
Crash rates in Australia by social
status
 Crash rates decreasing by ~5% per year for novice
drivers over past 10 years
 Due to combination of graduated licensing, enforcement
and general improvements in road safety
 But NOT decreasing for drivers who live in rural areas,
or those of low SES – no significant change
(Chen HY et al , Journal of Safety Research, 2010)
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Trends in fatality rate for young
drivers in NSW by SES, 1997-2007
3.50
(per 10 000 licensed drivers)
3.00
High SES
Moderate SES
Low SES
2.50
2.00
1.50
1.00
0.50
0.00
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
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WHY?
Individual level factors
 Increased driving exposure
 Risk behaviours, including
substance abuse
 Poor parental behaviours
 Older, less safe cars
 Fatigue
 Mental health?
 Experience
Area level factors
 Low SES associated with
regional or rural areas
 Less or different
enforcement?
 Poor road conditions and
road related infrastructure
 Higher posted speed limits
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Factors associated with increased
risk
 The factors that contributed significantly to increased
risk were:
 For rural fatalities: High posted speed limits, drink
driving and not wearing a seatbelt
 For low SES fatalities: High posted speed limits,
fatigue and driving an older vehicle
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Factors inter-related
 Many factors that increase risk in low SES areas also
influence risk in rural areas
 E.g. rural and low SES drivers may share the same risky
behaviours, such as high alcohol consumption and
failure to wear seatbelts while driving
 E.g. drivers of low SES may drive longer distances or
use less safe cars, which is also likely to be true for rural
residents
13
DRIVE Study
 Data from 20,000 novice drivers in NSW
 Participants completed survey and consented to linkage
to police reported crash reports, and road related
hospitalisations
 Opportunity to disentangle area level factors (age,
gender, risk behaviours, driving experience and
exposure) from area level effects (place of residence,
socioeconomic status)
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Findings
 People from low SES areas had ~double risk of crash
related hospitalisation (ie serious injury)
 Analysis took into account where they lived (urban vs
rural) as well as individual level factors
 Results means that there are some factors related to
social status that increase the risk of crash after we take
into account where they live, how far they drive, risk
behaviours
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Implications
 Need to better understand the factors that relate to
social status
 Area level factors eg infrastructure
 Community behaviour?
 Cars?
 Need for investment in prevention in low SES areas
•
•
•
•
•
Speed management
Road infrastructure
Community policing
Education?
Access to safe and convenient public transport
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A Safe Systems approach
 Safe roads and places
 Safe people
 Safe vehicles
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Safe roads (and places)
 Road design to minimise speed (chicanes, speed
humps)
 Prevent crashes/minimise impact of crashes




Intersection design
Right hand turn lanes
Shoulders and curved sections
Design for vulnerable road users eg pedestrians and cyclists
 Appropriate urban planning
 Reduce exposure to driving
 Good public transport systems
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Safe people
 Graduated licensing for novice drivers
 Appropriate enforcement (including speed detection
devices
 Education and social marketing
 Targeted initiatives for high risk populations
 Eg parent-teen contracts, involvement of schools and communities,
parental support, building resilience (eg Griffin, 2004)
 Lessons can be learned from child injury research:
 Minimize exposure
 Community partnerships (involve families and communities)
 Less focus on individual behaviours and more on structural issues

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Safe vehicles
 Fleet safety
 Novice drivers in second hand car market
 Need to have good fleet safety overall
 Other ways to increase safety of novice driver cars?
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Summary

Increasing understanding of
the social gradient in novice
driver injury
 But little research
specifically aimed at
developing or evaluating
programs
 Significant opportunities to
close the gap
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Acknowledgements
Funding






National Health and Medical Research Council
In-kind support from RTA
NRMA Motoring and Services
NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust
NSW Health
Motor Accidents Authority of NSW
Advisory Committee
Participants
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