CASR The University of Adelaide Australia

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TitleSelf-regulation of the driving behaviour of older drivers (PhD thesis)
AuthorsBaldock MRJ
AbstractThe aim of this thesis was to examine the extent, and correlates, of self-regulation of driving behaviour among a sample of South Australian older drivers (aged 60 or more). The first of four studies was an analysis of official crash statistics in South Australia over a period of five years. The patterns of crash involvement for South Australian older drivers were found to resemble those reported in the literature for other jurisdictions. Lower levels of crash involvement for older drivers in difficult driving situations (peak hour, rain, darkness) were interpreted as indirect evidence for selfregulation of driving behaviour. The second study involved pilot testing a measure developed specifically for assessing the visual attention of older adults (the Computerised Visual Attention Test - CVAT). The CVAT assesses visual attention by measuring target detection and reaction time for central and peripheral stimuli, and in conditions requiring selective and divided attention. The third study involved assessing the test-retest reliability, construct validity and predictive validity of the CVAT. It was concluded that the CVAT is a reliable measure of abilities including, but not restricted to, attention, and that it is correlated with on-road driving ability. The fourth study involved an examination of the driving behaviour and attitudesof 104 drivers aged over 60, with avoidance of difficult driving situations providing an index of self-regulation. These drivers also completed a battery of tests measuring psychological factors, vision, physical functioning, various cognitive abilities, and attention (the CVAT). Ninety participants additionally completed an on-road assessment of driving ability. It was found that older drivers most often avoided reverse parallel parking and driving at night in the rain, while driving alone was avoided least often. Measures of visual attention, medication use and visual acuity were most predictive of levels of self-regulation, while poorer driving ability was only associated with avoidance of a small number of specific situations. Functional deficits related to poorer driving ability but not to self-regulation included poorer contrast sensitivity, speed of information processing and spatial memory. Such deficits could identify drivers who may need to restrict their driving more than they do.
PublisherUniversity of Adelaide
Publisher CityAdelaide
Page Count438

Baldock MRJ (2004) Self-regulation of the driving behaviour of older drivers (PhD thesis), Thesis, University of Adelaide, Adelaide.

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