Vulnerable road user groups: a review of younger drivers, motorcyclists and older drivers

Article English OPEN
Freeman, James ; Scott-Parker, Bridie ; Wong, Ides ; Haworth, Narelle (2012)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Society, Health & Vulnerability (issn: 2002-1518)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/vgi.v3i0.14889
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: human activities

Scientific efforts to understand and reduce the occurrence of road crashes continue to expand, particularly in the areas of vulnerable road user groups. Three groups that are receiving increasing attention within the literature are younger drivers, motorcyclists and older drivers. These three groups are at an elevated risk of being in a crash or seriously injured, and research continues to focus on the origins of this risk as well as the development of appropriate countermeasures to improve driving outcomes for these cohorts. However, it currently remains unclear what factors produce the largest contribution to crash risk or what countermeasures are likely to produce the greatest long term positive effects on road safety. This paper reviews research that has focused on the personal and environmental factors that increase crash risk for these groups as well as considers direction for future research in the respective areas. A major theme to emerge from this review is that while there is a plethora of individual and situational factors that influence the likelihood of crashes, these factors often combine in an additive manner to exacerbate the risk of both injury and fatality. Additionally, there are a number of risk factors that are pertinent for all three road user groups, particularly age and the level of driving experience. As a result, targeted interventions that address these factors are likely to maximise the flow-on benefits to a wider range of road users. Finally, there is a need for further research that aims to bridge the research-to-practice gap, in order to develop appropriate pathways to ensure that evidenced-based research is directly transferred to effective policies that improve safety outcomes.Keywords: Younger drivers; motorcyclists; older drivers(Published: 30 March 2012)Citation: Vulnerable Groups & Inclusion. DOI: 10.3402/vgi.v3i0.14889
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