Research Papers

Findings from the Candrive/Ozcandrive Study: Older drivers, cognitive function and self-regulatory driving practices

Filename FINAL-PAPER-98.doc
Filesize 192 KB
Version 1
Date added June 10, 2012
Downloaded 3 times/fois
Category 2012 CMRSC XXII Banff
Tags Session 5C
Author/Auteur Judith Charlton, Sjaan Koppel, Jim Langford, Anita Myers, Holly Tuokko, Shawn Marshall, Malcolm Man-Son-Hing

Abstract

There is growing evidence which suggests that many older drivers are aware of their functional declines and consequently adapt their driving patterns by self-regulating when, where and how they drive. Recent evidence suggests that older drivers are also less willing to engage in potentially distracting secondary activities while driving and that they avoid complex, cognitively demanding driving. These activities are likely to reduce their crash risk. This paper uses Year 1 data from the 5 year, Candrive/Ozcandrive prospective study of older drivers (n=927) to investigate the association between cognitive functioning, the use of self-regulatory strategies and self-reported crashes. Analyses were conducted comparing the self-reported driving patterns of three groups of drivers based on performance on selected cognitive tests (Trails B and MMSE): 'lower'; 'middle'; and 'higher' function group. Preliminary analyses suggest a significant association between cognitive functioning and use of self-regulatory practices which are proposed to reduce crash risk. Older drivers in the lower cognitive function group were significantly more likely to avoid complex, cognitively demanding traffic maneuvers compared with older drivers in the higher cognitive function group. In addition, older drivers with lower cognitive function were significantly less likely to engage in potentially distracting secondary activities while driving compared to older drivers with higher cognitive function. Self-reported crash rates across the two groups did not differ. The preliminary findings presented here, using arbitrary (quartile) cut-points for cognitive function, are consistent with previous research which suggests that at least some older adults are able to compensate well for limitations in their cognitive abilities in such a way that is likely to minimize exposure to difficult driving situations to reduce their crash risk. It is important to note that these early findings are based on self-report and represent a limited subset of a rich database which will be collected across a 5 year period. Further analyses are planned to explore the relationship between a more comprehensive range of cognitive and other driver characteristics and drivers' use of self-regulation using real-world driving data.

Judith Charlton, Sjaan Koppel, Jim Langford, Anita Myers, Holly Tuokko, Shawn Marshall, Malcolm Man-Son-Hing