Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

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Age-related differences in motor-vehicle crash severity in California

Product Type

Journal Article


Adekunle Adebisi, Jiaqi Ma, Jaqueline Masaki, and John Sobanjo



Full citation

Adebisi, A., Ma, J., Masaki, J., & Sobanjo, J. (2019). Age-related differences in motor-vehicle crash severity in California. Safety, 5(3), 48.


With ongoing changes in the age distribution of drivers in the United States, it is important to obtain insights on how to make the roadways equally safe for drivers across different age groups. In light of this, the objective of this study is to examine various crash characteristics and make recommendations on how to potentially improve roadway safety for all age groups. Using the Highway Safety Information System (HSIS) data, this study investigates the factors influencing motor-vehicle crash injury severity for young (aged 16–25), middle-aged (aged 26–64), and older drivers (above 64) in the state of California. A multinomial logit model was used to separately model crashes involving each age group and to evaluate the weight of different predictor variables on driver injury severity. The predictor variables were classified into four—driver, roadway, accident and environmental characteristics. Results suggest that there are close relationships between severity determinants for young and middle-aged drivers. However, older drivers tend to be most cautious among all age groups under all environmental and roadway conditions. Young drivers are more likely to explore their driving skills due to newness to driving. Middle-aged drivers are familiar with driving and tend to demonstrate less cautious behaviors, especially male drivers. Another insight obtained from this study is that older driver behavior is less dynamic compared to other age groups, their driving pattern is usually regular regardless of the surrounding conditions.

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Crash analysis
Multinomial logit model
Motor-vehicle crashes
Age-based modeling

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HSIS Summaries

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