Transport safety for older drivers: a study of their experiences, perceptions and management needs.
The study aimed to identify transport options and licensing issues for older Queenslanders across a range of cognitive functioning. Ninety-five participants aged 75 and over were interviewed about their driving status and accident record and tested for cognitive ability. After stratification on cognitive level and driver status (current, ex-driver or non-driver), 30 were selected for further in-depth interview concerning demographics, licence status and impact of change, travel options available and used, and travel characteristics.
Considerable reliance on the motor vehicle as the mode of transport and the decision to cease driving were major quality of life issues. There was little evidence of planning and support in making the decision to stop driving. Although significant differences in transport decisions on the basis of cognitive level were not detected, people with severely compromised cognitive ability (eg unable to give informed consent) had been excluded. The study suggested the need for resources to assist older people/carers/health professionals to plan for transition from driver to non-driver and manage alternative transport options more effectively.