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Driving Mobility, Older Adults, and Quality of Life

C. Owsley

Gerontechnology 2002; 1(4):220-230 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4017/gt.2002.01.04.002.00

Abstract

Driving mobility is a fundamental instrumental activity of daily living for many older adults throughout the world. There are proportionately more older drivers on the road than ever before, they have higher annual mileage than earlier older cohorts, and they have a higher crash and injury rate per mile driven than most other age groups. Driving cessation in older adults is associated with increased depression and social isolation. Visual, cognitive, and physical impairments and the medical conditions that engender them elevate crash risk and impair on-road performance in older drivers. Older adults report more difficulty on the road than younger adults and these selfrecognized problems are associated with their functional impairments. These recent research findings underscore the pressing need for public health and technological research focused on enhancing the safety of older drivers while also preserving their mobility and quality of life.
Keywords: driving; mobility; functional impairment; aging; driver safety

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Gerontechnology (ISSN/EISSN 1569-1101 1569-111X) is the official journal of the International Society for Gerontechnology