Next Article in Journal
Current and Future Perspectives of Liaison Psychiatry Services: Relevance for Older People’s Care
Next Article in Special Issue
Correspondence between Simulator and On-Road Drive Performance: Implications for Assessment of Driving Safety
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Preliminary Validation of a Questionnaire Covering Risk Factors for Impaired Driving Skills in Elderly Patients
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

The Older Driver with Cognitive Impairment: Perceptions of Driving Ability and Results of a Behind the Wheel Test

Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC), VA Health Care System, One Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA
Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA
Veterans Affairs South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC), 2002 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030, USA
Houston VA Health Services Research & Development Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Max Toepper
Geriatrics 2016, 1(1), 6;
Received: 13 November 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 January 2016 / Published: 4 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impaired Driving Skills in Older Adults)
PDF [181 KB, uploaded 4 February 2016]


Older adult drivers with cognitive impairment pose a potential safety risk to themselves and others. Providers are often uncertain about when to request a formal evaluation of driving ability, leaving subjective reports of concerns by the patient or family as common initiators of objective driving evaluation referral. This observational study evaluated the correspondence of patient and caregiver report of driving concerns relative to objective behind-the-wheel (BTW) testing. Data were analyzed from occupational therapy driving evaluations of older adult U.S. Veterans referred from cognitive disorder specialty clinics between 2005 and 2015 (n = 151). Driving ability was evaluated with a pre-testing interview of the patient and a knowledgeable caregiver, followed by objective BTW testing. Patients referred had a mean age of 77.6 (SD = 8.1) years, were 97% male, and 98% white. Results demonstrated that most patients are evaluated for driving concerns far too late, with only 3% of the sample being evaluated as independent to drive without restrictions, and 38% recommended to retire from driving. Although both patients and caregivers denied specific driving concerns (obey signs and lights) relative to objective testing, caregiver concerns were greater than their respective patient’s concerns (p < 0.001) and were associated with road test outcome (p = 0.001). View Full-Text
Keywords: older drivers; caregivers; assessment; cognitive impairment older drivers; caregivers; assessment; cognitive impairment
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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hemmy, L.; Rottunda, S.; Adler, G. The Older Driver with Cognitive Impairment: Perceptions of Driving Ability and Results of a Behind the Wheel Test. Geriatrics 2016, 1, 6.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Geriatrics EISSN 2308-3417 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top