A comparative approach to identify unsafe older drivers

Allen R. Dobbs, Robert B. Heller, Donald Schopflocher

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


The identification of unsafe older drivers is a current and important challenge. In the present research, a comparative approach was used in which the on road driving errors and expert evaluations of older drivers with clinically significant declines in mental abilities (N = 155) were compared to the errors and evaluations of a normal elderly control group (N = 68) and a normal younger control group (N = 30). The results indicate that the conventional criteria used in North America for licensing new drivers is inappropriate for license removal in experienced drivers. The results also indicate that hazardous errors were the single best indicator of membership in the group of older drivers with clinical impairment. This group also differs from the two normal control groups on turn positioning errors, minor positioning errors and overcautiousness. All groups differ from each other on scanning errors. A regression analysis further indicated that the five driving errors listed above accounted for over 57% of the variance associated with global ratings provided by expert driving instructors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-370
Number of pages8
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1998


  • Cognitive impairment
  • Driving
  • Elderly
  • Road safety


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