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TitleSelf-reported medication use and on-road driving performance of older drivers
AuthorsBaldock MRJ, Mathias JL, McLean AJ, Berndt A
TypeConference Paper
AbstractA great deal of attention has recently been devoted to the older driver (> 65 years), largely because older drivers have a greater crash rate per kilometre driven [I-41 and also because of the substantial projected increases in the number of older drivers in the next half a century [e.g. 51. It has been suggested that the higher crash rate of older drivers is due to high risk subgroups within the older driver population rather than to a general decline associated with ageing [6]. For example, the increased crash risk of older drivers may, in part, be attributable to the fact that increasing age is associated with a greater prevalence of medical conditions that affect driving ability [7]. Associated with this higher prevalence of medical conditions is greater use of medications [8]. This has implications for road safety because many medications have side-effects that impair central nervous system functioning, and which may be detrimental to driving ability. There is also greater sensitivity with increasing age to anything that affects the central nervous system [8, 91, leading to an increased likelihood with age of adverse reactions to medication [7]. Older drivers are also more likely to be taking more than one medication at a time, known as 'polypharmacy' [8, 101. Medications taken concurrently could have additive or synergistic effects, which could further impair central nervous system functioning. This study examined the relationship between self-reported medication use and performance on an on-road driving test in a sample of older drivers. Specifically, the aim was to ascertain whether older drivers who were taking a higher number of prescription medications demonstrated poorer driving performance. This study was conducted as part of a larger study investigating the self-regulation of driving habits by older drivers.
Conference NameT2004 -17th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety
Conference AbbreviationICADTS
Conference LocationGlasgow, United Kingdom
Conference Date8-13 August 2004
Page Count6

Baldock MRJ, Mathias JL, McLean AJ, Berndt A (2004). Self-reported medication use and on-road driving performance of older drivers. T2004 -17th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 8-13 August 2004.