Objectively Derived and Self-Reported Measures of Driving Exposure and Patterns Among Older Adults
This research brief used data from the AAA Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers (LongROAD) study to examine self-reported and objectively derived measures of driving in an older population. Information about older adults’ driving exposure and patterns (i.e., when, where and under what conditions they drive) is important for several reasons. Such information contributes to a better understanding of the crash risk of older drivers relative to other age groups. It also provides a context for understanding the process of self-regulation, whereby older drivers reduce their exposure to driving conditions they find challenging (e.g., at night, during rush-hour traffic, on major highways or long distances from home) or decrease their overall amount of driving (see Molnar et al., 2015 for a review of this literature). Such self-regulation of driving may help older drivers compensate for declining driving-related abilities and extend the period over which they can safely drive. Improving our knowledge of older adults’ driving exposure and patterns will help inform efforts to develop and strengthen educational and training materials for older drivers.
- Oldest age group (75-79 years old) had the lowest driving exposure, drove fewer miles and minutes per month, and fewer miles per trip than either of the younger age groups (65-69 and 70-74)
- In terms of driving patterns, the oldest age group took a lower percentage of trips on high-speed roads and a higher percentage of trips within 25 miles of home than either of the younger age groups
- Women had lower overall driving exposure than men, driving fewer trips, miles, and minutes per month, and fewer miles per trip
- Women had fewer speeding events and a higher percentage of trips within 25 miles of home than men