On behalf of and in collaboration with the Swedish Transport Agency, VTI has carried out a study of older drivers and the link between illness and traffic accidents. The Transport Agency has now published the results.
The issue of periodic medical screening for older drivers does not need to be investigated further. This is the conclusion in a new report on the connection between illnesses and involvement in traffic accidents, with a focus on drivers over the age of 65. The report has been produced in collaboration with VTI. However, the Transport Agency recommends further studies regarding drivers with certain diagnoses, in all age brackets.
The study is based on an extensive matching of accident data and healthcare data. The results show that drivers with illnesses typical for their age, such as cardiovascular diseases and impaired vision are not very likely to be involved in accidents. Drivers with dementia, a diagnosis which is also strongly linked to a person’s age, are more rarely involved in accidents than drivers without the diagnosis. This can be because persons tend to stop driving after being diagnosed with dementia.
“To produce our results, we compared the occurrence of illness in persons who had been involved in accidents and persons who had not been involved in accidents,” says Åsa Forsman, researcher at VTI and contributor to the study.
However, the study does highlight some groups with illnesses which have an increased risk of accidents. The Swedish Transport Agency wishes to investigate this further.
Read the report (written in Swedish with an English abstract).