A framework for a critical assessment of the quality of epidemiological studies of driver health and accident risk

Publication year: 2011
Source: Accident Analysis & Prevention, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 14 June 2011

Rune, Elvik

A large number of studies have tried to assess how various aspects of driver health influence driver involvement in accidents. The objective of this paper is to provide a framework for a critical assessment of the quality these studies from a methodological point of view. Examples are given of how various sources of bias and confounding can produce study findings that are highly misleading. Ten potential sources of error and bias in epidemiological studies of the contribution of driver health impairments to road accidents are discussed:(1) Poor description of the medical conditions whose effects are studied (measurement error).(2) Inadequate control…

 Highlights: ► Studies assessing the association between medical conditions and accident involvement tend to vary in quality. ► There is a need for assessing the quality of studies according to a formal checklist. ► A checklist is provided and examples are given of how various sources of error and bias can influence the results of epidemiological studies of driver health and accident risk.