Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gap exists between seniors' opinion of driving ability and performance

Date:
May 29, 2012
Source:
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Summary:
The majority of older adults rate themselves as excellent drivers though one in four had a wreck in previous five years.

A new report shows that 85 percent of senior drivers rated their driving as "excellent" or "good" during a five-year period although 25 percent reported having a crash. No participants rated their driving as poor, and less than 1 percent rated their driving as fair, which points to a possible lack of awareness of safe driving ability.

The study, by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and published in Accident Analysis and Prevention, analyzed Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration data from 350 older adult drivers ages 65-91 with a mean age of 74. The drivers were asked about self-reported incidents and state-reported crashes during a five-year period. They also were asked to rate their own driving abilities at year five. The study found that self-rated driving ability had no relationship with a previous history of adverse driving outcomes, such as crashes, other than receiving recommendations from physicians or friends to stop or limit driving.

The study also found older men are more likely to have adverse driving outcomes, but that they were not more likely to be told by physicians and friends to stop or limit their driving.

"A large debate in driving research is whether or not at-risk drivers can self-regulate, and thus possibly reduce their crash risk. This research indicates that, at least for this sample, a previous history of four adverse driving outcomes has no relationship with self-reported driving ability, thus possibly indicating a lack of awareness in regards to driving abilities," says Lesley Ross, Ph.D., author of the study and assistant professor in the UAB Department of Psychology. "The majority of older adults can continue to drive safely well into old age. However, there is a group of older drivers who are at greater risk for crashing."

Driver license requirements for seniors vary by state. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety eight states and the District of Columbia require vision tests for seniors. Illinois is the only state that mandates a road test for those ages 75 and older. This means that all other states rely on seniors to self-regulate their driving.

"Testing visual acuity is not enough to predict crashes. The screenings that show true promise in determining whether or not a senior is able to drive safely are performance-based," says Ross. "Until that happens, we found that receiving a suggestion to stop or limit driving had the greatest impact on seniors self-rated driving abilities.

"Clearly, there needs to be more open discussion among older adults, their family and friends, as well as physicians. Driving is essential to maintaining independence and mobility for many older adults, and discussions on limiting driving should not be taken lightly. It is a complex issue with real implications for older adults and their families," Ross says.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there were 32.3 million drivers over the age of 65 on the road in 2008 and they expect that number to surpass 40 million by 2020. A recent study using data from the National Automotive Sampling System's General Estimates System revealed older drivers experience severe injuries and fatalities at a higher rate than any other age group.

Ross' work is supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Aging. Her co-authors are Joan E. Dodson, Jerri D. Edwards, Ph.D., Michelle Ackerman and the chair of the psychology department, Karlene Ball, Ph.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alabama at Birmingham. The original article was written by Kevin Storr. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lesley A. Ross, Joan E. Dodson, Jerri D. Edwards, Michelle L. Ackerman, Karlene Ball. Self-rated driving and driving safety in older adults. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2012.02.015

Cite This Page:

University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Gap exists between seniors' opinion of driving ability and performance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120529144344.htm>.
University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2012, May 29). Gap exists between seniors' opinion of driving ability and performance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120529144344.htm
University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Gap exists between seniors' opinion of driving ability and performance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120529144344.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins