Evaluating the impact of passengers on the safety of older drivers

Jason Yaw Cheuk Hing, Nikiforos Stamatiadis, Lisa Aultman-Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Problem: This study involved a quasi-induced exposure analysis of 4 years of crashes involving older drivers in the state of Kentucky. Method: Single- and multivehicle crashes were disaggregated according to the number of passengers: (a) no passenger, (b) one passenger, and (c) two or more passengers. Results: Overall, the presence of two or more passengers was found to negatively impact the probability that drivers 75 years of age or older were at fault in crashes. Several potential factors were studied for interactive effects with passengers: vehicle occupant gender mix, time of the day, road curvature, grade, and number of lanes. The negative impact of passengers increased for some geometric road conditions. However, older drivers were found to be safer at night when carrying two or more passengers. The presence or absence of passengers was not found to affect the 65- to 74-year-old driver group. Groups of male vehicle occupants with a 75+ male driver were found to have high single-vehicle crash rates. Impact: These results are among the first to directly consider the effect of passengers on the crash-causing propensity of older drivers and the findings suggest more work is warranted to consider causes for the crash rate differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-351
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003


  • Older drivers
  • Passengers
  • Quasi-induced exposure
  • Traffic safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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