Evaluating the Impact of Passengers on the Safety of Older Drivers

Overall, the presence of two or more passengers was found to negatively impact the probability that drivers 75 years of age or older were at fault in crashes. Several potential factors were studied for interactive effects with passengers: vehicle occupant gender mix, time of the day, road curvature, grade, and number of lanes. The negative impact of passengers increased for some geometric road conditions. However, older drivers were found to be safer at night when carrying two or more passengers. The presence or absence of passengers was not found to affect the 65- to 74-year-old driver group. Groups of male vehicle occupants with a 75+ male driver were found to have high single-vehicle crash rates.