ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Grey Nomads: Road Safety Impacts and Risk Management

Obst, P, Brayley, N, King, Mark J. (Peer reviewed)

Driver Risk & Behaviour

2008

The Australian population is ageing, and an increasing number of older Australians are becoming ?grey nomads?, driving long distances on high speed rural roads. While many drivers in this age range are engaging in self regulation and limiting their driving to known roads, this population are driving on highly unfamiliar roads, and possibly engaging in unfamiliar practices such as towing large loads (e.g. caravans, camping trailers) or driving large vehicles (e.g. motorhomes, large four wheel drives). The current factors that contribute to this travel pattern, the associated exposure to risk and the crash outcomes are largely unknown. The current study provides an overview of this growing social group, through the results of a pilot study (N = 136). The study details the distances travelled by grey nomads, the types of trips and places frequented, and the typical duration of trips. The research also details what risks in terms of both health and road safety they may be exposed to and their current knowledge and management of these risk factors. Further, the research explores the safety advice available to this population and how they access this information. In the context of the potential growth of the grey nomad movement, the research presents recommendations for the type of safety information and education most needed to minimise their risk exposure and the best way of disseminating this information within this specific population.