Driving habits and risk exposure in older drivers: Lessons learned from the implementation of a self-regulation curriculum

Vanya C. Jones, Juhee Cho, Jackie Abendschoen-Milani, Andrea Gielen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: This article describes the development and pilot testing of Seniors on the MOVE (Mature Operators Vehicular Education), a safe driving education program for older adults. The study aims are to describe driving experiences and habits of a community sample of older drivers and to determine whether the program reduces their driving risk exposures. Methods: A 2-group randomized design was used. Fifty-eight participants with an average age of 70 were randomly assigned to the MOVE program or a no treatment control group. MOVE is a 4-session program designed to help older drivers better understand and utilize self-regulation skills for safer driving. Baseline and 4-week follow-up questionnaires were completed by both groups, after which the control group received the MOVE program. Results: In the total sample, 14 percent reported having ever been in a traffic crash where someone was injured, and 10 percent reported having received a traffic citation in the past 6 months. Almost one half of the sample (47%) reported thinking about reducing the amount of driving done at night. Nearly one third were thinking about reducing the amount of driving done in unfamiliar places (32%) and the number of miles driven each week (30%). Participants reported most frequently driving between 2 to 10 miles from home, on local roadways, and between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Based on responses to items that measured such driving habits, a risk exposure score was created by combining driving exposure variables. Participants were categorized into lower and higher driving risk exposure groups at baseline and follow-up. There were no statistical differences in changes in higher or lower risk driving exposure variables when comparing the 2 groups. Conclusions: Although the impact of this program on reported driving behaviors yielded null results, descriptions of older drivers' habits and plans are informative. Because many participants were thinking about making changes to their driving habits, and many already had, the need for more effective self-regulation driving safety programs to help with this process is clear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-474
Number of pages7
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

Keywords

  • Driver
  • Elderly
  • Interventions
  • Old driver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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