Does the influence of risk factors on accident occurrence change over time?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAccident Analysis and Prevention. 2016, 91 (June), 91-102. 10.1016/j.aap.2016.02.026
A large number of studies have been made to assess the relationship between risk factors and accident occurrence. A risk factor is any factor that makes an accident more likely to occur. Very many risk factors have been identified, for example, being under the influence of alcohol while driving, driving on slippery roads, entering complex junctions, or driving in hours of darkness. Few studies have been made to determine whether the associations between risk factors and accident occurrence remain stable over time. This paper presents examples of studies that have replicated estimates of risk. All these studies were made within a given country, using the same method, to ensure that estimates of risk are comparable. The risk factors included in the paper are: daylight, horizontal curves, junctions, road surface conditions, precipitation, drinking and driving and driver age. For all these risk factors, their association with accidents has changed over time, mostly becoming weaker. A protective factor, snow depth, is also included. Its protective effect has become smaller over time. Possible reasons for the weakening influence of risk factors are discussed.