Road safety education for older drivers: Evaluation of a classroom-based training initiative

Around the world, a growing proportion of drivers are aged 70 or over. Although accident rates for older drivers are lower than for young or novice drivers, increased frailty and slowed reactions mean that older drivers are at higher risk of death or serious injury when involved in a road collision. The objectives of this study were to: (a) identify driving knowledge and self-regulatory strategies among a group of older drivers with a view to planning future on-road training; (b) measure driver self-assessments of ability and confidence before and after classroom training delivered by driving instructors; (c) evaluate the utility and acceptability of training courses for older drivers using questionnaires and focus groups; d) examine the characteristics of course participants.142 drivers aged ≥75 completed a two-hour classroom-based driving course and took part in the evaluation: 94 aged 75–79, 48 aged ≥80, 68% male. Main reasons for taking part were to update knowledge, improve driving and check they were safe to drive. Results showed that females were more likely than males to avoid driving in difficult conditions (at night, in bad weather, unfamiliar roads). More drivers aged 75–79 said they did not restrict their driving (52, 57%) compared to drivers aged ≥80 (19, 43%). Pre-course, males rated their driving confidence and ability significantly higher than females. Post-course, self-ratings of confidence and ability were unchanged for 76 (60%) drivers. However, two-thirds reported improved knowledge and 80% said they would change their driving behaviour as a result of the course. Focus group results suggest that competent drivers are more likely to attend educational courses than unsafe drivers. This study provides preliminary evidence that classroom-based training can initiate behaviour change among older drivers. Future research will examine the effectiveness of on-road training in this age group.


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  • Accession Number: 01687959
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 30 2018 3:06PM