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Vehicle year and the risk of car crash injury
  1. S Blows1,
  2. R Q Ivers1,
  3. M Woodward1,
  4. J Connor2,
  5. S Ameratunga2,
  6. R Norton1
  1. 1Institute for International Health, University of Sydney, Australia
  2. 2Division of Community Health, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Stephanie Blows
 PO Box 576, Newtown, Sydney, NSW 2042, Australia;


Objective: To quantify the association between vehicle age and risk of car crash injury.

Design and setting: Data from a population based case-control study conducted in the Auckland region in 1998/99 was used to examine the adjusted risk of car crash injury or death due to vehicle age, after controlling for a range of known confounders. Cases were all cars involved in crashes in which at least one occupant was hospitalized or killed anywhere in the Auckland region, and controls were randomly selected cars on Auckland roads. The drivers of the 571 case vehicles and 588 control vehicles completed a structured interview.

Main outcome measure: Hospitalisation or death of a vehicle occupant due to car crash injury.

Results: Vehicles constructed before 1984 had significantly greater chance of being involved in an injury crash than those constructed after 1994 (odds ratio 2.88, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20 to 6.91), after adjustment for potential confounders. There was also a trend for increasing crash risk with each one year increase in vehicle age after adjustment for potential confounders (odds ratio 1.05, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.11; p = 0.09).

Conclusion: This study quantifies the increased risk of car crash injury associated with older vehicle year and confirms this as an important public health issue.

  • traffic
  • vehicle age
  • case-control study
  • car crash injury

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