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Accid Anal Prev. 2010 Mar;42(2):523-9. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2009.09.018. Epub 2009 Oct 21.

Correspondence between self-reported and objective measures of driving exposure and patterns in older drivers.

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  • 1Department of Health Studies and Gerontology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1, Canada.


The driving behavior of older adults has been traditionally examined using questionnaires and diaries. The accuracy of self-reports has been questioned, and in-vehicle recording devices touted as more objective measures of real-world driving. The purposes of this study were to replicate and extend prior research comparing self-report and actual measures of driving exposure and patterns. Two electronic devices were installed in the vehicles of 61 drivers (67-92 years, 59% women) who were instructed to drive as usual over 1-week. Participants completed trip logs, daily diaries, a questionnaire on usual driving habits, ratings of situational driving frequency and avoidance and a follow-up interview. Only 53% of the sample attempted to estimate how far they had driven over the week and self-estimates were inaccurate (ME=77.5 km; CV=44.5%). Drivers tended to miss a significant number of trips and stops in their diaries. Driving behavior over the week was fairly consistent with usual practices regarding time of day, driving in certain areas, and night driving. However, subjects drove in challenging situations more than usual. Triangulating multiple sources of electronic and self-reported data provided a better understanding about the behavior of older drivers.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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