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Cognitive, sensory and physical factors enabling driving safety in older adults

Publication Date
  • 111300 Optometry And Ophthalmology
  • Crash Risk
  • Cognitive Aging
  • Driving
  • Sensorimotor Function
  • Physiological Aging
  • Law
  • Medicine


We reviewed literature on cognitive, sensory, motor and physical factors associated with safe driving and crash risk in older adults with the goal of developing a model of factors enabling safe driving behaviour. Thirteen empirical studies reporting associations between cognitive, sensory, motor and physical factors and either self-reported crashes, state crash records or on-road driving measures were identified. Measures of attention, reaction time, memory, executive function, mental status, visual function, and physical function variables were associated with driving outcome measures. Self-monitoring was also identified as a factor that may moderate observed effects by influencing driving behavior. We propose that three enabling factors (cognition, sensory function and physical function/medical conditions) predict driving ability, but that accurate self-monitoring of these enabling factors is required for safe driving behaviour.

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