Self-regulation of driving behaviour among older drivers: Findings from a five year follow-up
A follow-up study was conducted into the self-regulatory driving behaviours of a group of older drivers who had been interviewed four to five years previously. Fifty seven drivers aged from 66 to 97 years completed a questionnaire about their health and driving habits, and a sub-set of 44 participants additionally completed a battery of tests assessing psychological functioning, vision, mental status, speed of information processing, visuospatial memory and visual attention. These data were compared with the results obtained four to five years previously. It was found that there had been very little change in self- reported driving confidence and self-reported avoidance of difficult driving situations. However, this lack of change in driving habits contrasted with statistically significant declines in functional ability. Specifically, there were declines in mean scores for measures of mental status, visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and visual attention. These findings suggest that self-regulatory behaviour did not increase to compensate for declines in functioning.