Associations of physical activity with driving-related cognitive abilities in older drivers: An exploratory study

Department of Sport and Health, University of Evora, Portugal.
Perceptual and Motor Skills (Impact Factor: 0.66). 10/2012; 115(2):521-33. DOI: 10.2466/10.06.25.PMS.115.5.521-533
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between hysical activity and driving-related cognitive abilities of older drivers. Thirty-eight female and male drivers ages 61 to 81 years (M = 70.2, SD = 5.0) responded to the International Physical Activity Questionnaire and were assessed on a battery of neuropsychological tests, which included measures of visual attention, executive functioning, mental status, visuospatial ability, and memory. A higher amount of reported physical activity was significantly correlated with better scores on tests of visual processing speed and divided visual attention. Higher amounts of physical activity was significantly associated with a better composite score for visual attention, but its correlation with the composite score for executive functioning was not significant. These findings support the hypothesis that pzhysical activity is associated with preservation of specific driving-related cognitive abilities of older adults.

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    • "Some of other studies summarise the characteristics of older drivers' car crashes. Older drivers are less likely to be involved in crashes caused by fatigue, high speed, weather condition or alcohol, but are more likely to be involved in crashes in the following scenarios: manoeuvres through intersections or T-junctions; failure to yield the right of way; failure to identify hazards or to heed stop signs/traffic signals; and problems involved in turning and changing lanes (McGwin Jr 1999; Clarke, Ward et al. 2010; Marmeleira, Ferreira et al. 2012). Charlton et al. (2006) surveyed the self-regulatory driving practices of 656 older drivers and found that older drivers tend to avoid driving in busy traffic or at night, and especially at nights in wet conditions. "
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