An examination of the concordance between self-reported collisions, driver records, and insurance claims in older drivers

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Porter, Michelle M
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Journal of Safety Research
Background Previous studies of older drivers have found that there are discrepancies between their retrospective self-reports of collisions and the official jurisdictional record. Objectives The purpose of this study was to examine how older drivers self-report collisions in comparison to what was recorded in their official driver abstract as well as insurance claims, in a prospective study. Methods Participants (n = 125, age ≥ 70 years) in this study were part of the University of Manitoba site of the Candrive longitudinal study of older drivers. During the operation of the Manitoba site (2009 to 2013), participants were periodically asked to report on any collisions (at-fault or not) in which they were involved, while they were enrolled in the study. In addition, driver records (abstracts and insurance claims) from the provincial licensing agency and public insurer (Manitoba Pubic Insurance; MPI) were provided annually. Results In total there were 101 separate instances of collisions (regardless of at-fault status), whether self-reported, or recorded by MPI. There were 20 at-fault collisions that were recorded on the driver abstract. Eighteen of these collisions were self-reported by participants. In total, our participants were involved in 70 insurance claims (42 at-fault) — 61 of these were self-reported to study staff. In addition, there were 31 collisions that were self-reported to study staff, that were not reported to MPI. Conclusions In this prospective study, older drivers were diligent in reporting collisions in which they were involved. While some collisions were not reported that ultimately became a claim or part of their driver abstract, the biggest discrepancy was in the collisions that were reported to study staff but that were not reported to authorities.
Automobile driving;, Road safety, Motor vehicle collisions, Aging