Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Don't judge older drivers by age

Date:
January 28, 2014
Source:
Queensland University of Technology
Summary:
Encouraging older drivers to self-regulate their driving, rather than revoking their license based on age, has the potential to improve their safety and maintain their independence, a study has found.

QUT road safety researcher Dr Ides Wong look at the licencing of older drivers.
Credit: Queensland University of Technology

Encouraging older drivers to self-regulate their driving, rather than revoking their license based on age, has the potential to improve their safety and maintain their independence, a QUT study has found.

Ides Wong, from QUT's Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety -- Queensland (CARRS-Q), said a person's age was not an accurate predictor of their driving ability.

"People do not wake up on their 75th birthday a worse driver than they were the day before, which is what current age-based testing assumes," Dr Wong said.

"We know that as people age their physical, cognitive and sensory abilities decline. However, aged-based testing for older drivers, although popular within legislative and public domains, is problematic because we lack consensus as to which age-based tests can accurately predict a driver's performance."

As part of her recently completed PhD, Dr Wong looked at whether self-regulation of driving behavior was adopted by older adults.

"Older drivers tell us that they have changed their driving patterns as a result of age, for example restricting their night-time and long distance driving habits to reduce the challenges of high-pressure driving," she said.

"As part of my study I used in-car monitoring to confirm that older drivers do self-regulate their driving such as avoiding peak hour traffic and night-time driving.

"This suggests that rather than discriminating against older drivers because of their age by restricting their way of getting around town, we could aim to improve their safety, as well as mobility, by supporting them to self-regulate their driving behaviors."

Dr Wong said as the world's adult population was rapidly aging, managing the safety of older drivers was fast becoming a critical social and public health issue.

"We do know that taking away a person's license impacts on their mobility, independence, health and overall quality of life.

"Not having a license can be socially isolating and result in health issues like depression."

Dr Wong said while older drivers had a higher crash risk when measured per kilometre, the fact they tend to drive significantly less than other age groups exaggerated this statistic, giving them an unwarranted bad reputation on the roads.

"They have a far lower crash risk when compared to younger drivers, but when they do crash they are more likely to be seriously injured or killed, because they tend to be more fragile."

Dr Wong said her study found older drivers who had support from a "driving partner" to share the driving load, self-regulated and reduced their time behind the wheel.

She said access to public transport also reduced older drivers' time on the road.

"There are a lot of positive implications for supporting self-regulation of driving behavior compared with using age to determine a person's driving ability," Dr Wong said.

"Older drivers can reduce their reliance on their license, while staying mobile and independent.

"Then when they must stop driving because of a decline in their ability, it will have less of an impact on their quality of life because they already have other means to meet their transportation needs."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queensland University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queensland University of Technology. "Don't judge older drivers by age." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140128103542.htm>.
Queensland University of Technology. (2014, January 28). Don't judge older drivers by age. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140128103542.htm
Queensland University of Technology. "Don't judge older drivers by age." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140128103542.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. 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