Physical Fitness and Driving Performance

A number of studies have explored the association between older adults’ physical fitness and performance of everyday tasks and on measures of cognition. Improved aerobic fitness has been shown to improve motor and cognitive task performance. Further, older adults have shown functional benefits from other kinds of physical training, including tai chi and strength and flexibility training. Cognitive skills allow a driver navigate effectively toward a destination and identify and avoid potential hazards. Strength, flexibility and coordination support the driver’s ability to make accurate, and when necessary, rapid and forceful steering and braking responses. Flexibility of the neck and spine facilitate turning of the head to check blind spots. This project explores relationships between older adults’ physical fitness and their driving performance, and evaluates the effects of fitness training on driving performance. Findings will inform recommendations to families, medical professionals and others who provide guidance to older adults as they seek to continue to drive safely.

    Language

    • English

    Project

    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $699180
    • Contract Numbers:

      DTNH2211D00223/0003

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Sifrit, Kathy

    • Performing Organizations:

      University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

      Chapel Hill, NC  United States  27514
    • Start Date: 20130502
    • Expected Completion Date: 20200930
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
    • Subprogram: Older Driver

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01620659
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    • Contract Numbers: DTNH2211D00223/0003
    • Files: RiP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Jan 4 2017 3:26PM