The use of driver screening tools to predict self-reported crashes and incidents in older drivers

Publication Name

Accident Analysis and Prevention


There is a clear need to identify older drivers at increased crash risk, without additional burden on the individual or licensing system. Brief off-road screening tools have been used to identify unsafe drivers and drivers at risk of losing their license. The aim of the current study was to evaluate and compare driver screening tools in predicting prospective self-reported crashes and incidents over 24 months in drivers aged 60 years and older. 525 drivers aged 63–96 years participated in the prospective Driving Aging Safety and Health (DASH) study, completing an on-road driving assessment and seven off-road screening tools (Multi-D battery, Useful Field of View, 14-Item Road Law, Drive Safe, Drive Safe Intersection, Maze Test, Hazard Perception Test (HPT)), along with monthly self-report diaries on crashes and incidents over a 24-month period. Over the 24 months, 22% of older drivers reported at least one crash, while 42% reported at least one significant incident (e.g., near miss). As expected, passing the on-road driving assessment was associated with a 55% [IRR 0.45, 95% CI 0.29–0.71] reduction in self-reported crashes adjusting for exposure (crash rate), but was not associated with reduced rate of a significant incident. For the off-road screening tools, poorer performance on the Multi-D test battery was associated with a 22% [IRR 1.22, 95% CI 1.08–1.37] increase in crash rate over 24 months. Meanwhile, all other off-road screening tools were not predictive of rates of crashes or incidents reported prospectively. The finding that only the Multi-D battery was predictive of increased crash rate, highlights the importance of accounting for age-related changes in vision, sensorimotor skills and cognition, as well as driving exposure, in older drivers when using off-road screening tools to assess future crash risk.

Open Access Status

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Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



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