Aging And Driving Error Book Report

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Transportation Type: Book Report Paper: #93325504 Related Topics: Psychology Of Aging, Aging, Car Accident, Dementia
Excerpt from Book Report :

Aging and Driving

Anstey, K.J. & Wood, J. (2011). Chronological age and age-related cognitive deficits are associated with an increase in multiple types of driving errors in late life. Neuropsychology 25(5): 613-621.

In "Chronological age and age-related cognitive deficits…" Anstey & Wood (2011) outline the purpose of the research as being to foster greater understanding of the factors involved in driving skills that diminish with age. In particular, the authors are concerned with the cognitive factors that impact driving ability. The authors warn against blanket generalizations about seniors, many of whom retain their ability to drive safely well into old age. The gap in research the authors are filling is related to the specific cognitive changes that take place as a matter of the aging process, and how those changes impact seniors who regularly drive. According to the authors, their research has direct real-world application for the ergonomics of driving experiences in terms of improved road signs and continuing driver education for seniors.

A review of literature reveals that from a neurophysiological standpoint, aging impacts frontal lobe processes and functions more than other brain regions and functions. Decision making and response time are two specific areas that diminish naturally with age. In previous research measuring the driving errors that...

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614). The current research question focuses on common and everyday driving situations. Performance on real-world driving tests is to be compared with performance on laboratory cognitive tests. The researchers hypothesize that laboratory measures of "selective attention, set shifting, and attention" would be associated with "positioning of the vehicle, selecting gaps in traffic, and appropriate planning and preparation in a particular driving situation or maneuver" in the driving test; and that "visual selective attention" would be associated with blind spot checking behaviors (p. 614).

The researchers selected an initial population of 449 Australian persons 70 years and older. They selected from this group 266 participants who claimed that they drive once per week or more, and who met other criteria, to participate in the On Road Driving Test condition. The researchers tested for dementia to rule it out, and administered two hours work of cognitive tests plus a preliminary driving assessment of 50 minutes in length.

Among the cognitive tests used in the study, the Trail Making Tests, Digit-Symbol Matching, Simple Reaction Time, Choice Reaction Time Color, and a Visual Search test were used. During the driving test, an occupational therapist sat in the back seat to…

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