Safe mobility for elderly drivers: Considerations based on expert and self-assessment

Publisher's full text
Thomas Broberg

To further understand the needs of the growing population of elderly drivers and create solutions for safe mobility it is important to understand the driving scenarios and aspects in day to day traffic that may be of challenge for this group. More so, individual differences in how drivers perceive their own driving ability may have an effect on how individuals limit their mobility and/or increase their exposure to risk situations, with a potential negative effect on safety.

In this study two sets of assessments have been used in order to identify scenarios and aspects needing consideration in creating safe mobility for elderly drivers; an expert assessment using on-road driving together with assessments through semi structured in-depth interviews. This combination also enables categorisation of the drivers, comparing their own perception of their driving performance with the expert assessment based on actual on-road driving.

Four different categories of drivers were identified: adequate (positive), over, under and adequate (negative) estimators. A number of important aspects were identified in the study. Adapting speed to the situation and driving too fast, especially on straight roads in the city, is one aspect. Seeking the attention of other road users at intersections and roundabouts is another important consideration identified. Awareness of difficulties related to speed adaptation and attention was low amongst all the driver categories. However, a difference in attitude was seen in the categories with a more humble and acceptant attitude amongst the adequate and under estimator groups, as compared to the over estimators suggesting that the aspect of attitudes is another important factor for consideration.

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