Report numberRA-2006-92
TitleAccident involvement of young drivers
SubtitlePart II: Analysis of Flemish accident data
AuthorsAn Dreesen
Kenny Bos
Bert Willems
Published byPolicy Research Centre for Traffic Safety 2002-2006
Number of pages191
Document languageDutch
Work packageOther: Behaviour

Several studies show that the accident involvement of young drivers is higher in comparison with the accident involvement of older drivers. Studying the types of accidents this group of younger drivers is more involved in, the reasons for this higher level of accident involvement can be extracted. In this research paper Flemisch accident data are analysed and, if travel data are available, combined with travel data, resulting in risks for these situations.

By analogy with the first part of this report (Bos, Dreesen & Willems, 2006) the number of accidents and the risks to be involved with an accident were considered for the younger drivers and compared with these same numbers for the older drivers and this as a function of some other relevant variables that were already discussed in the first part of this report: personal characteristics, temporal characteristics, environmental characteristics, social circumstances and the type of accidents.

With respect to the personal characteristics is seems that the differences in accident risks between young drivers and the older drivers in dangerous situations (for example in the weekend or during the night) are more pronounced for male drivers.

In general these temporal characteristics have an influence on the accident liability of young drivers: the risks to be involved in an accident are higher during the night and during weekends (especially at night). This difference between younger and older drivers is even more pronounced when analysis is restricted to severe and fatal accidents.

With regard to the environmental characteristics there are less differences between the younger and older drivers. Only the type of road, the lighting conditions and the state of the road seem to influence the accident risks for younger drivers in other ways (in comparison with the accident risks for older drivers). The accident risk for younger drivers is lower on motorways, and these risks are higher with degraded lighting conditions and with abnormal states of the road.

Also the social circumstances have a different influence on accident risks for young drivers: for all ages accident riks are smaller in the presence of passengers but for the younger drivers this difference is less pronounced. Moreover, there is also a differential influence of the number of passengers. For older drivers the accident risks decrease with an increasing number of passengers, for younger drivers this is no longer true: with 3 or more passengers the accident risk is comparable to the risk observed with no passengers. The effect was especially apparent within the group of young female drivers.

The influece of the presence of passengers is also different with respect to the temporal characteristics: in general it is less dangerous for younger drivers to drive in the presence of additional passengers but during the night the presence of passengers has more malicious effects.

These results are compared with the conclusions that were reached in the first part of this report (international literature study, Bos, Dreesen, & Willems, 2006).

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The Policy Research Centre for Traffic Safety carries out policy relevant scientific research under the authority of the Flemish Government. The Centre is the result of a

cooperation between Hasselt University, KU Leuven and VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research.


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