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Table 1 Depression and overall crash rate

From: Depression, antidepressants and driving safety

Lead Author Year of Publication Country Sample Size Methodology (data collection period) Confounders Findings
(Rainio et al. 2007) 2007 Finland 542 crashes, 640
crash deaths
Retrospective review of crashes, autopsy records (2001, 2002) Adjusted: Age, survival from accident, driver/passenger status
Non-Adjusted: Retrospective review of medical records; surviving non-A parties and passengers excluded as controls; no medication data were included in analyses; incidence of undiagnosed depression or other psychiatric disorders is unknown
Of fatal crashes, 6.4% of killed A-parties, (key driver), 3.9% of surviving A-parties (key survivor) and 1.5% of killed non-A-parties (non-key driver) had depression; 0% of killed passengers had depression
(Sagberg 2006) 2006 Norway 4448 crash involved drivers Self-report questionnaire of drivers in the last 6 months (no year reported) Adjusted: Gender, age, driving distance, other involved road user, crash type, responsible for multiple vehicle crashes
Non-Adjusted: Low response rate; biased or under-reporting from self-reports; self-report of depressive symptoms not confirmed; exclusion of diseases such as epilepsy
“Feeling blue, depressed” on self-report had OR of 2.43 of being at fault, p = .03
(Mann et al. 2010) 2010 Canada 4935 adult drivers Cross-sectional phone survey
(2002-2004)
Adjusted: Alcohol and cannabis lifetime and recent use; driving exposure and stressful driving environment
Non-Adjusted: Driving exposure and collision involvement measured by self-report; no report of medication use for depression; comorbid psychiatric or medical conditions not captured
Risk of collision involvement increased with each unit of depression-anxiety score using General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) (OR = 1.05, CI: 101-1.09)
(Wickens et al. 2013) 2013 Canada 12,830 Telephone survey; motor vehicle accidents in past 12 months (conducted between 2002-2009) Adjusted: Age, gender, driving exposure, driving after alcohol or cannabis use
Non-Adjusted: Biased or under-reporting from self-reports; no report of medication use for depression and anxiety disorders; driving after use of substances other than alcohol or cannabis not studied
Self-report of collision involvement of those with probable mood and anxiety disorder had OR = 1.78
(CI: 1.37, 2.31)
(Margolis et al. 2002) 2002 US 1416 women 65-84 Prospective analysis of older drivers (1991-1996) Adjusted: Driving miles per week, number of motor vehicle crashes; use of medications and alcohol; functional status, visual acuity; previous history of falls
Non-Adjusted: Sample limited to white women aged 65 years and older and living in Portland, OR; comorbid psychiatric conditions not captured; cases limited to motor vehicle crashes that resulted in a police report
Depression did not predict crash (only 3.4% of participants had depression per Geriatric Depression Scale)
(Sims et al. 2000) 2000 US 174 older adults; 61 subjects had crashes during study period Prospective analysis of incident crash (1991-1992) Adjusted: Age, race, gender, days per week driven
Non-Adjusted: Small sample size; biased or under-reporting from self-reports of health status, medical diagnoses and medications; adherence to medications unknown; mileage driven were extrapolated based on average annual driving miles reported by subjects
6.9% of sample had Geriatric Depression Scale ≥16; which increased risk of crash (RR = 2.53,CI:1.08-5.95, p = 0.03)
(LeRoy & Morse 2008) 2008 US 81,408 cases and 244,224 age-, sex-and date-matched controls Case-Control (1998-2002) Adjusted: Age, gender, 6 months of coverage.
Non adjusted: medical diagnosis and medication relationship.
OR = 3.99 (CI:3.19, 4.99), p < .001
  1. OR odds ratio, CI confidence interval, RR relative risk