Article

Cognitive Functioning Predicts Driver Safety on Road Tests 1 and 2 Years Later

Division of Neuroergonomics, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Impact Factor: 4.22). 10/2011; 60(1):99-105. DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03739.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To describe longitudinal changes in mean level and evaluate rank-order stability in potential predictors of driving safety (visual sensory, motor, visual attention, and cognitive functioning) and safety errors during an 18-mile on-road driving test in older adults and to evaluate the relative predictive power of earlier visual sensory, motor, visual attention, and cognitive functioning on future safety errors, controlling for earlier driving capacity.
Three-year longitudinal observational study.
Large teaching hospital in the Midwest.
One hundred eleven neurologically normal older adults (60-89 at baseline).
Safety errors based on video review of a standard 18-mile on-road driving test served as the outcome measure. A comprehensive battery of tests on the predictor side included visual sensory functioning, motor functioning, cognitive functioning, and a measure of useful field of view.
Longitudinal changes in mean levels of safety errors and cognitive functioning were small from year to year. Relative rank-order stability between consecutive assessments was moderate in overall safety errors and moderate to strong in visual attention and cognitive functioning. Although prospective bivariate correlations between safety errors and predictors ranged from fair to moderate, only functioning in the cognitive domain predicted future driver performance 1 and 2 years later in multivariate analyses.
Normative aging-related declines in driver performance as assessed using on-road tests emerge slowly. Even in the presence of conservative controls, such as previous driving ability, age, and visual sensory and motor functioning, cognitive functioning predicted future on-road driving performance 1 and 2 years later.

0 Followers
 · 
116 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective. Visual information is often used to guide purposeful movement. However, older adults have impaired responses to visual information, leading to increased risk for injuries and potential loss of independence. We evaluated distinct visual and motor attention contributions to a cued saccade task to determine the extent to which aging selectively affects these processes. Methods. Nineteen healthy young (18–28 years) and 20 older (60–90 years) participants performed a cued saccade task under two conditions. We challenged motor attention by changing the number of possible saccade targets (1 or 6). Results. Older adults had difficulty in inhibiting unwanted eye movements and had greater eye movement inaccuracy in the hard condition when compared to the younger adults and to the easy condition. Also, an inverse relation existed between performance on the visual and motor components of the task in older adults, unlike younger adults. Conclusions. Older adults demonstrated difficulty in both inhibiting irrelevant saccade targets and selecting correct saccade endpoints during more complex tasks.The shift in relations among attention measures between the younger and older participantsmay indicate a need to prioritize attentional resources with age. These changes may impact an older adult’s ability to function in complex environments.
    Journal of Ophthalmology 05/2014; 2014:860493. DOI:10.1155/2014/860493 · 1.94 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although there are several studies on the effects of personality and attitudes on risky driving among young drivers, related research in older drivers is scarce. The present study assessed a model of personality-attitudes-risky driving in a large sample of active older drivers. A cross-sectional design was used, and structured and anonymous questionnaires were completed by 485 older Italian drivers (Mean age=68.1, SD=6.2, 61.2% males). The measures included personality traits, attitudes toward traffic safety, risky driving (errors, lapses, and traffic violations), and self-reported crash involvement and number of issued traffic tickets in the last 12 months. Structural equation modeling showed that personality traits predicted both directly and indirectly traffic violations, errors, and lapses. More positive attitudes toward traffic safety negatively predicted risky driving. In turn, risky driving was positively related to self-reported crash involvement and higher number of issued traffic tickets. Our findings suggest that theoretical models developed to account for risky driving of younger drivers may also apply in the older drivers, and accordingly be used to inform safe driving interventions for this age group.
    Accident Analysis & Prevention 08/2014; 72C:318-324. DOI:10.1016/j.aap.2014.07.022 · 1.87 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: When facing age-related cerebral decline, older adults are unequally affected by cognitive impairment without us knowing why. To explore underlying mechanisms and find possible solutions to maintain life-space mobility, there is a need for a standardized behavioral test that relates to behaviors in natural environments. The aim of the project described in this paper was therefore to provide a free, reliable, transparent, computer-based instrument capable of detecting age-related changes on visual processing and cortical functions for the purposes of research into human behavior in computational transportation science. After obtaining content validity, exploring psychometric properties of the developed tasks, we derived (Study 1) the scoring method for measuring cerebral decline on 106 older drivers aged ≥70 years attending a driving refresher course organized by the Swiss Automobile Association to test the instrument's validity against on-road driving performance (106 older drivers). We then validated the derived method on a new sample of 182 drivers (Study 2). We then measured the instrument's reliability having 17 healthy, young volunteers repeat all tests included in the instrument five times (Study 3) and explored the instrument's psychophysical underlying functions on 47 older drivers (Study 4). Finally, we tested the instrument's responsiveness to alcohol and effects on performance on a driving simulator in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo, crossover, dose-response, validation trial including 20 healthy, young volunteers (Study 5). The developed instrument revealed good psychometric properties related to processing speed. It was reliable (ICC = 0.853) and showed reasonable association to driving performance (R 2 = 0.053), and responded to blood alcohol concentrations of 0.5 g/L (p = 0.008). Our results suggest that MedDrive is capable of detecting age-related changes that affect processing speed. These changes nevertheless do not necessarily affect driving behavior.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 10/2014; 8(772):1-22. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00772 · 2.90 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
34 Downloads
Available from
May 29, 2014