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Publication Details

TitleA comparison of reported driving self-regulation by older adults and GPS-based measurements of their actual driving exposure
AuthorsThompson JP, Baldock MRJ, Mathias JL, Wundersitz LN
Year2016
TypeUnknown
AbstractResearchers have argued that self-regulation of driving can assist older drivers to reduce their crash and injury risk, while maintaining some degree of mobility. However, the majority of past research on self-regulation by older drivers has relied on self-report methods. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether the degree to which older drivers report avoiding difficult driving situations corresponds with the degree to which they actually drive in those situations, as measured by Global Positioning System (GPS) devices fitted to their vehicles. A sample of 55 drivers aged 75 years and older completed a questionnaire on their avoidance of four difficult driving situations (making right turns across traffic, driving on a freeway or high speed highway, driving in peak hour traffic, and driving at night) and had their driving monitored using GPS devices. The degree to which they actually drove in the each of the difficult situations was identified in the GPS data. Linear regression analyses found that the self-report and GPS measurements did not correspond for any of the four difficult situations. Most participants reported that they never or rarely avoided each situation. However, 36% did not drive on high-speed highways at all, 50% drove 10% or fewer of their trips during peak hour, and 85% drove 10% or fewer of their trips at night. Therefore, this study suggests that older drivers self-regulate more than they report. Furthermore, while past research has consistently found reported self-regulation to be related to increasing age and female gender, the degree to which the participants in the present study actually drove in of each of the four difficult situations was not related to their age and was not found to be lower for female participants. Given the current finding of a discrepancy between subjective measurements of self-regulation and objective measurements of actual driving, past studies on self-regulation and their findings may need to be reconsidered.
Conference NameSixth International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology
Conference AbbreviationICTTP
Conference LocationBrisbane
Conference Date2-5 August 2016

Reference
Thompson JP, Baldock MRJ, Mathias JL, Wundersitz LN (2016) A comparison of reported driving self-regulation by older adults and GPS-based measurements of their actual driving exposure.