Self-regulation of driving and older drivers' functional abilities
A sample of 90 adults aged between 60 and 91 completed a questionnaire about their driving behaviour, a battery of functional tests, and a structured on-road test. The section of the questionnaire featuring items about avoidance of difficult driving situations was used as an index of self-regulation of driving behaviour. The functional test battery consisted of mood, vision, physical functioning and neuropsychological tests. The on-road test used in the study was a standard assessment procedure developed by the Driver Assessment Rehabilitation Service to determine fitness to drive. Of the 90 participants in the study, 68 passed the driving test, 8 passed but were recommended to have lessons and 14 failed the test. Driving test scores for the study were based on the number of errors committed in the driving tests, with weightings given according to the seriousness of the errors. In order to identify risk factors for inadequate driver self-regulation, comparisons were made between the functional tests most strongly related to driving performance and the functional tests most strongly related to self-regulation. It was concluded that self-regulation of driving behaviour is inadequate among older drivers with poor contrast sensitivity, poor speed of information processing and poor visuospatial ability.