Document Detail

Neuropsychological predictors of driving errors in older adults.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20487082     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: To identify neuropsychological factors associated with driving errors in older adults.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional observational study.
SETTING: Neuropsychological assessment laboratory and an instrumented vehicle on a 35-mile route on urban and rural roads.
PARTICIPANTS: One hundred eleven older adult drivers (aged 65-89; mean age 72.3) and 80 middle-aged drivers (aged 40-64; mean age 57.2).
MEASUREMENTS: Explanatory variables included age, neuropsychological measures (cognitive, visual, and motor), and a composite cognitive score (COGSTAT). The outcome variable was the safety error count, as classified according to video review using a standardized taxonomy.
RESULTS: Older drivers committed an average of 35.8 +/- 12.8 safety errors per drive, compared with an average of 27.8 +/- 9.8 for middle-aged drivers (P<.001). For older drivers, there was an increase of 2.6 errors per drive observed for each 5-year age increase (P=.03). After adjustment for age, education, and sex, COGSTAT was a significant predictor of safety errors in older drivers (P=.005), with an approximately 10% increase in safety errors observed for a 10% decrease in cognitive function. Individual significant predictors of more safety errors in older drivers included poorer scores on the Complex Figure Test--Copy, the Complex Figure Test--Recall, Block Design, Near Visual Acuity, and the Grooved Pegboard task.
CONCLUSION: Driving errors in older adults tend to increase, even in the absence of neurological diagnoses. Age-related decline in cognitive abilities, vision, and motor skills can explain some of this increase. Changes in visuospatial and visuomotor abilities appear to be particularly associated with unsafe driving in old age.
Jeffrey D Dawson; Ergun Y Uc; Steven W Anderson; Amy M Johnson; Matthew Rizzo
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2010-05-07
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society     Volume:  58     ISSN:  1532-5415     ISO Abbreviation:  J Am Geriatr Soc     Publication Date:  2010 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-08-20     Completed Date:  2010-10-11     Revised Date:  2013-05-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503062     Medline TA:  J Am Geriatr Soc     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1090-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biostatistics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Accidents, Traffic* / prevention & control
Age Factors
Aged, 80 and over
Aging / psychology*
Automobile Driving / psychology*
Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*,  psychology
Cross-Sectional Studies
Linear Models
Middle Aged
Neuropsychological Tests
Risk Factors
Statistics, Nonparametric
Grant Support
AG 15071/AG/NIA NIH HHS; AG 17717/AG/NIA NIH HHS; NS 44930/NS/NINDS NIH HHS; R01 AG015071-01A2/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG015071-02/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG015071-03/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG015071-04/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG015071-05/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG017177-01/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG017177-02/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG017177-03/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG017177-04A1/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG017177-05/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG017177-06/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG017177-07/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG017177-08/AG/NIA NIH HHS

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