In 1988 and 1990, respectively, Norway and Sweden adopted legal reforms including abandonment of mandatory jail sentences for persons driving with BACs above specific limits. Interrupted time-series analysis finds that in both countries traffic deaths diminished simultaneously with the reforms, consistent with the understanding that Scandinavian success in reducing impaired driving does not depend upon mandatory jail.
In Russia, the high Road Traffic Injuries (RTIs) rate has been attributed to two well-known risk factors - the low rates of seatbelt and child restraints use and speeding. Despite the importance of understanding both speeding and seatbelt use patterns for the purpose of direct interventions or monitoring road safety situation, no study has assessed the current status of speeding among all vehicles and seatbelt wearing rates among all vehicle occupants in Russia. We are aware that alcohol is a known risk factor for RTI in the country however the work focused on seat belts and speed. This research was conducted as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme and focuses on observed speeding and seatbelt use in two Russian regions: Lipetskaya and Ivanovskaya Oblast.
Data was collected through observational surveys on selected roads in the two interventions sites (Lipetskaya and Ivanovskaya Oblast) between October 2010 and March 2013. The percentage of seatbelt use by drivers and passengers and the percentage of speeding vehicles by speed limit and road types were calculated.
Observational studies on speeding show signs that drivers are speeding less from the first survey held in July 2011 in Lipetskaya Oblast and March 2012 in Ivanovksya Oblast. Overall the observational studies showed a consistent reduction in the proportion of vehicles exceeding the speed limit: from 54.7% (2012) to 40.1% (2013) in Ivanovskaya Oblast and from 47.0% (2011) to 26.1% (2013) in Lipetskaya Oblast. Observational studies on seatbelt use demonstrate an increase in seatbelt wearing rates from the first survey held in October 2010 in Lipetskaya Oblast and April 2011 in Ivanovskaya Oblast. The overall prevalence of seatbelt use increased from 52.4% (2010) to 73.5% (2013) amongst all occupants in Lipetskaya Oblast and from 47.5% (2011) to 88.8% (2013) in Ivanovskaya Oblast.
Preliminary results show some promising signs that speeding and seatbelt use are moving in the right direction in both intervention sites subsequent to the various countermeasures being implemented under the Global Road Safety Programme. The study demonstrates the need for further targeted interventions to increase drivers' compliance with the speed limit and seatbelt use. However, it is too early to draw any definite conclusions or to fully attribute the effect to the interventions.
The effect of aging on fatal accident characteristics of male and female drivers was investigated using Finnish fatal-accident case study material from the period 1984-1990. Age-bound changes in accident characteristics (e.g., increase of at-fault accidents and of collisions in intersections) appeared in both sexes but seemed to affect female drivers at an earlier age and to a higher degree. When the sexes differed in accident characteristics, those of female drivers were more like the ones typically found in older drivers. The female drivers were also both quantitatively and qualitatively less experienced as drivers than their male counterparts. Thus, the lower resistance of women to the effects of aging on driving may be explained by their lower skill level. In future cohorts of old drivers, decrease of sex differences in experience will presumably attenuate the sex differences in accident characteristics.
In less than 5 years, the first wave of baby boomers will begin turning 65, with the last wave of boomers entering their senior years in January 2029. Currently, boomers make up a significant percentage of the population in Canada, the United States, and other developed countries. The baby boom generation has had a profound impact on our society over the last six decades, and this large cohort will continue to exert its influence for several decades to come. Central to this article is the rapid growth in the number of persons 65 years of age and older, beginning in 2011, with a corresponding increase in the number of older drivers. The demographic shift has important implications for licensing authorities, the regulatory bodies charged with licensing and 'fitness to drive' decisions.
The objectives of this paper are to summarize the published scientific literature on licensing policies and procedures currently in use for older drivers, discuss their limitations, and provide recommendations for meeting the upcoming challenges of an aging baby boomer population of drivers.
Online searches were conducted using the following databases: PsycINFO, MEDLINE, Scopus, and TRIS. Google and Google Scholar also were searched for scientific articles. References identified from database and online searches were examined for relevant articles.
A number of studies have investigated the utility of different licensing policies and procedures for identifying older drivers who may be at risk for impaired driving performance. Overall, results suggest that current policies and procedures are ineffective in identifying high-risk older drivers. The results also emphasize the need for a different approach for the identification of high risk older drivers by licensing agencies. Recommendations to assist with that goal are provided.
The aging of the baby boomer population, combined with the projected high crash rates for this cohort of drivers as it moves through the senior years, underscores the need for cost-effective, accurate, and efficient methods for identifying and assessing the subgroup of older drivers whose driving has declined to an unsafe level. That subgroup consists of individuals with medical conditions (and treatments) affecting driving performance. The demographic shift has been a blessing for licensing authorities in that it has created awareness of the need for a reexamination of licensing policies and procedures designed to identify those older drivers who may no longer be safe to drive. If that awareness becomes translated into effective policies and procedures that appropriately target the medically at-risk/impaired older driver rather than the older driver per se, the result will be an increase in the safety and mobility of the older driving population and increased public safety overall. However, a continued focus on older drivers rather than medically at-risk drivers will result in a costly, ineffective, and overburdened system.
According to Norwegian law, drivers 70 years and older must carry a health certificate. This is issued by a general practitioner. If the patient is not supposed to drive because of a medical condition, the doctor should report this to the County Health Officer. This can be problematic, not only because assessing whether a patient fulfills the criteria for driving is difficult, but also because the doctor has obligations to both the public and his patient. These problems are discussed, based on assessment of available literature and on personal experience. Dementia is common in old age and affects approximately 15% of persons aged 75 and older. Patients with moderate and severe dementia should certainly not drive. However, some patients with mild dementia can nevertheless be safe drivers. The problem, however, is to identify the safe drivers among patients with mild dementia. The current regulations on dementia and driving are presented briefly.
This study was designed to determine the efficacy of alcohol safety interlocks in reducing recidivism among first and second driving-under-the-influence (DUI) offenders. It also evaluates the overall effectiveness of interlock programs where typically only a small portion of DUI offenders elect to install interlocks.
The driving records of DUI offenders participating in interlock programs for 6 months for first offenders and 2 years for second offenders were compared with similar offenders who chose not to participate.
A province-wide program in Alberta, Canada.
Records of 35,132 drivers convicted of DUI between 1 July 1998 and 30 September 1996 were analyzed
Repeat DUI offenses during and after the interlock period.
While the offenders had interlocks on their vehicles, DUI recidivism was substantially reduced. Once the interlock had been removed and the participants had been reinstated, their DUI rate was the same as other offenders indicating that the interlock reduced recidivism while in place. Because only 8.9% of eligible drivers elected to participate in the interlock program, the program did not significantly increase the overall effectiveness of the province's management of DUI offenders.
Interlocks are associated with a major reduction in DUI recidivism while on the vehicle of the offender. However, because few offenders elect to participate, the program produces only a small (5.9%) overall reduction in the recidivism rate of all DUI offenders.