Article

Perception, attitudes and beliefs, and openness to change: Implications for older driver education

University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Accident Analysis & Prevention (Impact Factor: 1.87). 08/2007; 39(4):812-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2006.12.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT With a rapidly aging population, strategies for improving driver safety are beginning to emerge that focus on changing driving behaviors and knowledge. We examined the perceptions of risk, beliefs and attitudes, and openness to change of 86 older participants voluntarily attending a driver education program. It appeared that most people attending these sessions were not necessarily concerned about their own driving, safety or abilities, but were interested in maintaining mobility. They were conservative and reasonably consistent in their attitudes toward traffic regulations and safe driving practices. Some gender differences emerged with more men than women being resistant to changing their driving habits, more men than women reporting that they drive after consuming alcohol and more women than men identifying a role for their families in decision-making regarding driving cessation. This suggests that educational material may need to be targeted differently for men and women. It is anticipated that psychosocial factors related to driving such as driver perception, beliefs and openness to change will be useful for maximizing the fit between education program content and outcomes.

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    • "Driving cessation, whether voluntary or involuntary, may result in reduced mobility, increased isolation, and declines in physical and mental health (Bonnel 1999; Burkhardt 2000; Johnson 1999; Ragland et al. 2004), making the loss of a driver's license profound in the context of other substantive losses in later life. Our earlier work (Tuokko et al. 2007) suggested that older adults who voluntarily attend driver education sessions were not necessarily planning to change their driving behavior but were, more generally, interested in maintaining their skills and mobility. Taken in the context of a social science theory such as the transtheoretical model of behavior change (TTM; Prochaska and DiClemente 1982), these people might be considered " precontemplative " or " contemplative, " because most indicated that they would consider changing their behavior sometime in the future. "
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