Distracted Driving and Risk of Crash or Near-Crash Involvement among Older Drivers Using Naturalistic Driving Data with a Case-Crossover Study Design

Academic Article


  • Background The purpose of this study was to examine the association between secondary task involvement and risk of crash and near-crash involvement among older drivers using naturalistic driving data. Methods Data from drivers aged ≥70 years in the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) Naturalistic Driving Study database was utilized. The personal vehicle of study participants was equipped with four video cameras enabling recording of the driver and the road environment. Secondary task involvement during a crash or near-crash event was compared to periods of noncrash involvement in a case-crossover study design. Conditional logistic regression was used to generate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results Overall, engaging in any secondary task was not associated with crash (OR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.68-1.29) or near-crash (OR = 1.08, 95% CI 0.79-1.50) risk. The risk of a major crash event with cell phone use was 3.79 times higher than the risk with no cell phone use (95% CI 1.00-14.37). Other glances into the interior of the vehicle were associated with an increased risk of near-crash involvement (OR = 2.55, 95% CI 1.24-5.26). Other distractions external to the vehicle were associated with a decreased risk of crash involvement (OR = 0.53, 95% CI 0.30-0.94). Interacting with a passenger and talking/singing were not associated with crash or near-crash risk. Conclusions Older drivers should avoid any cell phone use and minimize nondriving-related eye glances towards the interior of the vehicle while driving. Certain types of events external to the vehicle are associated with a reduced crash risk among older drivers.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Huisingh C; Owsley C; Levitan EB; Irvin MR; MacLennan P; McGwin G
  • Start Page

  • 550
  • End Page

  • 555
  • Volume

  • 74
  • Issue

  • 4