A New Approach to Assessing Self-Regulation by Older Drivers: Development and Testing of a Questionnaire Instrument

As people age, they may experience declines in driving-related abilities as a result of the aging process, medical conditions, or the medications used to treat them. Appropriate self-regulation of driving shows considerable promise as a strategy for compensating for these declines and enabling older drivers to extend the time period over which they can safely drive. The purpose of this study is to improve our understanding of the process of self-regulation by older drivers and how it relates to important driver characteristics including gender, confidence in driving ability, and functional abilities by: developing a questionnaire instrument for use by jurisdictions in the US and elsewhere to measure the self-regulatory practices employed by older drivers; and pilot testing the instrument with a sample of older drivers comprised of individuals with clinically-determined functional impairments in vision, cognition, or psychomotor ability, as well as normally functioning older adults recruited from the general population. This study is intended to build on and at the same time extend the current thinking in the US and internationally, and to yield findings that will inform the development of practical efforts to enhance the safety and mobility of older adults around the world. The study will be carried out using a "quad team" approach, with the team consisting of Dr. David W. Eby (PI) and Lisa J. Molnar (Co-Investigator) from UMTRI, Dr. J. Scott Roberts (Co-Investigator) from the U-M School of Public Health, Gary Bubar (Co-Investigator) from AAA Michigan, and a U-M GSRA student.