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Geriatrics 2016, 1(2), 12; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1020012

Functional Changes and Driving Performance in Older Drivers: Assessment and Interventions

1,†,* and 1,2,†,*
1
Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at TU Dortmund (IfADo), Dortmund D-44139, Germany
2
Institute for Working, Learning, and Aging, Bochum D-44805, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Max Toepper
Received: 6 May 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 12 May 2016 / Published: 20 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impaired Driving Skills in Older Adults)
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Abstract

With the increasing aging of the population, the number of older drivers is rising. Driving is a significant factor for quality of life and independence concerning social and working life. On the other hand, driving is a complex task involving visual, motor, and cognitive skills that experience age-related changes even in healthy aging. In this review we summarize different age-related functional changes with relevance for driving concerning sensory, motor, and cognitive functions. Since these functions have great interindividual variability, it is necessary to apply methods that help to identify older drivers with impaired driving abilities in order to take appropriate measures. We discuss three different methods to assess driving ability, namely the assessment of (i) functions relevant for driving; (ii) driving behavior in real traffic; and (iii) behavior in a driving simulator. We present different measures to improve mobility in older drivers, including information campaigns, design of traffic and car environment, instructions, functional training, and driving training in real traffic and in a driving simulator. Finally, we give some recommendations for assessing and improving the driving abilities of older drivers with multi-modal approaches being most promising for enhancing individual and public safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging; mobility; older drivers; cognitive functions; driving assessment; screening; cognitive training; on-road driving; driving simulator aging; mobility; older drivers; cognitive functions; driving assessment; screening; cognitive training; on-road driving; driving simulator
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Karthaus, M.; Falkenstein, M. Functional Changes and Driving Performance in Older Drivers: Assessment and Interventions. Geriatrics 2016, 1, 12.

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