Relationship between areas of cognitive functioning on the Mini-Mental State Examination and crash risk

Academic Article


  • Previous studies have suggested that the pattern of cognitive impairment in crash-involved older drivers is different from non-crash-involved older drivers. This study assessed the relationship between seven areas of cognitive functioning (orientation to time, orientation to place, registration, attention and calculation, recall, language, and visual construction) on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) collected at baseline and rates of future crash involvement in a prospective population-based sample of older drivers. Motor vehicle collision (MVC) involvement was obtained from the Alabama Department of Public Safety. Poisson regression was used to calculate crude and adjusted rate ratios (RR). Older drivers having difficulties in place orientation were more than 6 times (95% CI 1.90-19.86) more likely to be involved in a future crash (adjusted RR = 6.14, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.90-19.86) and at-fault crash (adjusted RR = 6.39, 95% CI 1.51-27.10). Impairment in the other cognitive areas was not associated with higher rates of crash or at-fault crash involvement. The findings were validated in an independent sample of high-risk older drivers and a similar pattern of results was observed. Spatial orientation impairment can help identify older drivers who are more likely to crash in the future.
  • Published In

  • Geriatrics  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Huisingh C; Wadley VG; McGwin G; Owsley C
  • Volume

  • 3
  • Issue

  • 1