Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2008;34(4):307-315    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1271

Impact of retirement on risky driving behavior and attitudes towards road safety among a large cohort of French drivers (the GAZEL cohort)

by Bhatti JA, Constant A, Salmi L-R, Chiron M, Lafont S, Zins M, Lagarde E

Objectives This study investigated changes in driving behavior and attitudes towards road safety, following retirement, in a large cohort of road users.

Methods In 2001, 14 226 participants of the GAZEL cohort in France reported their attitudes towards road safety and driving behavior using a self-administered driving behavior and road safety questionnaire. In 2004, 82% of the group (N=11 706) responded to the same questionnaire. Two complementary logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the association of (i) retirement with change in safe driving behavior and attitudes towards road safety between 2001 and 2004 and (ii) time since retirement with risky driving behavior and negative attitudes towards road safety in 2001.

Results Among the participants who were active in 2001 (N=3927), those retiring between 2001 and 2004 (66%) were more likely to have discontinued sleepy driving [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.12, P<0.001] and phone use while driving (aOR 1.74, P=0.006) than those who remained professionally active. The second analysis showed that the likelihood of sleepy driving and phone use while driving decreased soon after retirement, whereas that of speedy driving decreased over a longer interval. Retirement had no influence on driving while intoxicated or attitudes towards road safety.

Conclusions The results suggest that any professional activity may account for some risky road behavior. As work-related road traffic accidents are responsible for one out of every four road casualties in France, the monitoring and prevention of sleepy driving and phoning while driving among workers should be further considered.