Involvement of older drivers at crashes at unsignalised and signalised intersections

Porter, Hannah Elizabeth (2009) Involvement of older drivers at crashes at unsignalised and signalised intersections. [USQ Project]

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By the year 2044 the population aged over sixty in Australia is predicted to double. The consequences of this increase include a greater cost to the community in road trauma. It is known that elderly drivers have the highest crash rates at intersections, are most likely to be at fault in a crash and have the highest mortality rate in accidents. The cost of crashes will therefore increase disproportionally to the increase in elderly drivers on the road. This research project identifies the likely ways that elderly drivers will cause increased road trauma, based on data from the Toowoomba area compared to that from the rest of Queensland. Toowoomba already has a higher than average proportion of elderly drivers on the road in Queensland, and so it provides an indicator of likely future trends for the rest of the state.
The dissertation quantifies historical trends in intersection crash rates for elderly drivers in Toowoomba and shows how these trends compare to the rest of Queensland and a comparable overseas country (Canada). The causes of accidents in which elderly drivers feature are discussed and include issues such as physical frailty, skill levels and road hazards. The road hazards investigated include traffic control, intersection types, traffic flow, weather conditions, available lighting, pre collision actions and the affects of common driver behaviours. The project concludes that roundabouts are a major frustration for elderly drivers, and one of the most common features in crashes. Our senior drivers also feature prominently in crashes at unsignalised cross intersections.
A major conclusion is that the State should attempt to make unsignalised road intersections friendlier for drivers over sixty, and that this could be done by reducing the number of decision points required when navigating the intersection. For heavily trafficked intersections the use of traffic signals remains the safest design feature for such drivers. It is also argued that there is a need for increased education for older drivers on the need to maintain driving skills and to adapt to their changing
physical capabilities. These programs would best be delivered through workshops and seminars at retirement villages and supermarkets where elderly people tend to be concentrated. Modern communication technologies, based on internet delivery, are not likely to be widely used by the target audience.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2010 01:06
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2010 01:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: intersection crashes; age; older drivers
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1603 Demography > 160305 Population Trends and Policies
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090507 Transport Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4403 Demography > 440305 Population trends and policies
40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400512 Transport engineering

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