Experience is generally seen as an important factor for safe driving, but the exact size and details of this effect has never been meta-analytically described, despite a fair number of published results. However, the available data is heterogeneous concerning the methods used, which could lead to very different results. Such method effects can be difficult to identify in meta-analysis, and a within-study comparison might yield more reliable results. To test for the difference in effects between some different analytical methods, analyses of data on bus driver experience and crash involvement from a British company were conducted. Effects of within- and between-subjects analysis, non-linearity of effects, and direct and induced exposure methods were compared. Furthermore, changes in the environmental risk were investigated. Between-subject designs yielded smaller effects as compared to within-subjects designs, while non-linearity was not found. The type of exposure control applied had a strong influence on effects, as did differences in overall environmental risk between years. Apparently, “the effect of driving experience” means different things depending upon how calculations have been undertaken, at least for bus drivers. A full meta-analysis, taking several effects of methodology into account, is needed before it can be said that the effect of driving experience on crash involvement is well understood.
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