Predictors of driving exposure and avoidance in a field study of older drivers from the state of Maryland

Academic Article


  • Using structural equation modeling techniques, this study examines causal models of driving avoidance and exposure among older adults. Prior studies have revealed that past incidence of falls, Useful Field of View (UFOV®) test performance, and Trails Making test performance are predictive of subsequent motor vehicle crash involvement [Owsley, C., Ball, K., McGwin Jr., G., Sloane, M.E., Roenker, D.L., White, M.F., Overley, E.T., 1998. Visual processing impairment and risk of motor vehicle crash among older adults. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 279 (14), 1083-1088; Sims, R.V., McGwin, G., Pulley, L., Roseman, J.M., 2001. Mobility impairments in crash-involved older drivers. J. Aging Health 13 (3), 430-438; Stutts, J.C., 1998. Do older drivers with visual and cognitive impairments drive less? J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 46, 854-861]. Data analyses used these indices, along with age, health, measures of physical functioning, and additional measures of cognitive functioning, to examine driving exposure and avoidance behaviors. A field sample of 4234 drivers, 55 years of age and older, were recruited from the Maryland Motor Vehicles Administration after renewing their driver's licenses. A performance-based assessment, which included the Gross Impairment Screening battery and task 2 of the UFOV® test, was completed by participants. A sub-sample of participants (n = 815) were interviewed by telephone about their health and mobility 3-6 months following the initial assessment at a renewal center. In addition to age and gender, latent variables for health status, physical functioning, cognitive functioning, driving exposure, and driving avoidance were created. Direct and indirect causal paths were specified. Age, gender, health status, and cognitive functioning had direct effects on both driving exposure and driving avoidance; physical functioning did not have a direct effect on driving exposure or avoidance. The implications of these findings are discussed as they relate to designing interventions to promote mobility. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Vance DE; Roenker DL; Cissell GM; Edwards JD; Wadley VG; Ball KK
  • Start Page

  • 823
  • End Page

  • 831
  • Volume

  • 38
  • Issue

  • 4