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Older Drivers

Overview

UMTRI researchers study the safety and mobility of persons aged 65 and older. They are interested in both reducing the crash risk of older drivers and helping seniors maintain mobility once safe driving is no longer possible. Researchers develop and test theories of how driving changes relative to cognitive, perceptual, and psychomotor declines; evaluate technology for maintaining safe senior mobility; and develop and test screening and assessment tools for seniors.

Aging can cause declines in abilities needed for safe driving. An important component of older driver safety is the ability of seniors to self-assess psychological declines and adjust driving appropriately. UMTRI researchers have been active in the development and evaluation of self-screening tools to assist older drivers in making good decisions regarding safe mobility. One of these tools is the Driving Decisions Workbook. Other research includes surveys of older drivers, evaluation of a variety of instruments, on-road assessment of drivers, and focus groups.

The maintenance of safe and acceptable senior mobility requires the involvement of the seniors family. Researchers examine this complex social dynamic and develop processes to improve the communication between seniors and their families.

As our society ages, programs to help seniors maintain safe mobility are proliferating. UMTRI is at the forefront of developing criteria for effective programs, evaluating these programs, and communicating results through publications such as Promising Approaches for Enhancing Elderly Mobility.

Recent Publications

  • Amish T, Hill L, DiGuiseppi C, Betz ME, Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Kelley-Baker T, Villavicencio L, Andrews HF, Li G, Strogatz D, and the LongROAD Team. (2019) Patterns of Self-Reported Driving While Intoxicated Among Older Adults: AAA LongROAD Study (Research Brief). Washington DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • Andrews HF, Betz ME, Chihuri S, DiGuiseppi C, Eby DW, Gordon, A., Hill, L.L., Jones, V., Lang, B.H., Leu, C.S., Li, G., Merle, D.P., Mielenz, T.J., Molnar, L.J., Strogatz, D. (2018) Prevalence of Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Drivers: A LongROAD Study. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • Betz M, Villavicencio L, Kandasamy D, Kelley-Baker T, Kim W, DiGuiseppi C, Mielenz T, Eby DW, Molnar L, Hill L, Strogatz D, Carr D, & Li G (in press) Discussions with family and physicians about driving safety: findings from the LongROAD study. Journal of the American Board of Family Physicians.
  • Betz ME, Kelly-Baker T, Villavicencio L, Kim W, DiGuiseppi C, Mielenz T, Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Hill L, Strogatz D, and Li G, on behalf of the LongROAD Research Team. (2018) Discussions with family about driving safety: Findings from the LongROAD older driver study. Research Brief. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • Crowe CL, Man C, Ng LS, Molnar LJ, Eby DW, Andrews H, Ryan LH, DiGuiseppi C, Strogatz D, Betz ME, Hill L, Guralnik J, Li G, and Mielenz TJ. (2019) The Association of Frailty with Driving Habits Among Older Adults: AAA LongROAD Study (Research Brief.) Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • Dickerson AE, Molnar LJ, Bédard M, Eby DW, Berg-Weger M, Choi M, Grigg J, Horowitzk A, Meuser T, Myers A, O’Connor M, and Silverstein NM (2017) Transportation and aging: An updated research agenda for advancing safe mobility among older adults transitioning from driving to non-driving. The Gerontologist 59(2):215-221. DOI 10.1093/geront/gnx120.
  • Dickerson AE, Molnar LJ, Bédard M, Eby DW, Classen S and Polgar JM (2017) Transportation and aging: An updated research agenda for advancing safe mobility. Journal of Applied Gerontology 1-7. DOI: 10.1177/0733464817739154.
  • DiGuiseppi C, Hyde H, Betz ME, Scott KA, Eby DW, Hill LL, Jones V, Mielenz TJ, Molnar LJ, Strogatz D, and Li G. on behalf of the LongROAD Research Team (2019) Relationships Between Self-Reported Falls and Objectively-Measured Driving Habits among Older Drivers: AAA LongROAD study. (Research Brief). Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • DiGuiseppi C, Smith A, Betz M, Hill L, Lum H, Eby DW, Li G, on behalf of the LongROAD Research Team. (2017) Marijuana Use in Older Drivers in Colorado: the LongROAD Study. Research Brief. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • Eby DW, Molnar LJ, and Horikawa E (2017) Older drivers in the United States: crash trends, licensing, and medical advisory boards. Modern Physician, 7:195-197. (Japanese).
  • Eby DW, Molnar LJ, and Stanciu SC. (2018) Older Adults’ Attitudes and Opinions about Automated Vehicles: A Literature Review. Report No. ATLAS-2019-26. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. ATLAS-center.org
  • Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Kostyniuk LP, St. Louis RM, and Zanier N. (2017) Characteristics of informal caregivers who provide transportation assistance to older adults. PLoS ONE 12(9):e0184085. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184085
  • Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Kostyniuk LP, Zakrajsek J, Ryan L, Zanier N, St. Louis RM, Stanciu S, DiGuiseppi C, Li G, Mielenz TJ, Strogatz D, LeBlanc D, Bogard SE, Smith J, Yung R, Nyquist L and the LongROAD Research Team. (2017) The Relationship between Visual Abilities and Driving Habits among Older Drivers: A Naturalistic Driving Study. Research Brief. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Kostyniuk LP, Zakrajsek JS, Ryan L, Zanier N, St. Louis RM, Stanciu SC, Bogard SE, Demchak DH, DiGuiseppi C, Li G, Mielenz TJ, Strogatz D, LeBlanc D, Smith J, Yung R, and Nyquist L. (2018) The association between visual abilities and objectively-measured driving space, exposure, and avoidance among older drivers: a preliminary analysis. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 29(4):39-45.
  • Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Kostyniuk LP, Zanier N, and St. Louis RM. (2016) Safe Drivers Smart Options, Keys to Lifelong Mobility: Final Report. Report No. UMTRI-2016-18. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/134057
  • Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Zakrajsek J, Ryan L, Zanier N, St. Louis RM, Stanciu S, LeBlanc D, Kostyniuk, LP, Smith, J, Yung R, Nyquist L, DiGuiseppi C, Li G, Mielenz TJ, Strogatz D and the LongROAD Research Team. (2018) Prevalence, attitudes, and knowledge of in-vehicle technologies and vehicle adaptations among older drivers. Accident Analysis and Prevention 113: 54-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2018.01.022
  • Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Zakrajsek Z, Ryan L, Zanier N, St. Louis RM, Stanciu S, LeBlanc D, Kostyniuk LP, Smith J, Yung R, Nyquist L, DiGuiseppi C, Li G, Mielenz TJ, Strogatz D and the LongROAD Research Team. (2017) Use, Learning and Perceptions of In-Vehicle Technologies, and Vehicle Adaptations among Older Drivers: A LongROAD Study. Research Brief. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Zhang L, St. Louis RM, Zanier N, Kostyniuk LP, and Stanciu S. (2016) Use, perceptions, and benefits of automotive technologies among aging drivers. Injury Epidemiology 3:1-20. DOI 10.1186/s40621-016-0093-4.
  • Hill L, Andrews H, Pepa P, Li G, Merle D, Kelley-Baker T, and Eby D. (2018) Medication Use in Older Adult Drivers. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • Jones V, Johnson R, Rebok G, Roth K, Gielen A, Baker SP, Molnar LJ, Pitts S, DiGuiseppi C, Hill L, Strogatz D, Mielenz T, Eby D, Li G. (2019) Demographic Differences in Use of Alternate Transportation Among Older Drivers: AAA LongROAD Study: AAA LongROAD Study (Research Brief). Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • Jones V, Johnson RM, Rebok G, Roth K, Gielen A, Baker SP, Molnar LJ, Pitts S, DiGuiseppi C, Hill L, Strogatz D, Mielenz T, Eby DW, and Li G. on behalf of the LongROAD Research Team (2018) Use of alternative transportation among older adult drivers. Journal of Transport and Health 10:284-289. DOI: 10.1016/j.jth.2018.07.001.
  • Kandasamy D, Betz ME, DiGuiseppi C, Mielenz T, Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Hill L, Strogatz D, and Li G. (2018) Self-reported health conditions and related driving reduction among older drivers. Occupational Therapy in Health Care 32(4):363-379. DOI:10.1080/07380577.2018.1522681
  • Kandasamy D, Betz ME, DiGuiseppi C, Mielenz T, Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Hill L, Strogatz D, Li G. (2017) Musculoskeletal Conditions and Related Driving Reduction among Older Drivers: LongROAD Study. Research Brief. Washington, D.C.: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • Li G, Eby D, Santos R, Mielenz T, Molnar L, Strogatz D, Betz M, DiGuiseppi C, Ryan L, Jones V, Pitts S, Hill L, DiMaggio C, LeBlanc D, and Andrews H. (2017) Longitudinal research on aging drivers (LongROAD): study design and methods. Injury Epidemiology 4(22) DOI: 10.1186/s40621-017-0121-z
  • Mielenz TJ, Strogatz DS, Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Crowe CL, Andrews HF, DiGuiseppi CG, Betz ME, Hill LL, Li G, and the AAA LongROAD team. (2019) Relationship between Driving Habits and Health-Related Quality of Life: AAA LongROAD Study (Research Brief). Washington, D.C.: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • Molnar LJ and Eby DW. (2017) Implications of advanced vehicle technologies for older drivers. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 106:457-459. DOI 10.1016/j.aap.2017.06.017.
  • Molnar LJ, Eby DW, and Horikawa E. (2017) Driving cessation and mobility support among older adults in the United States. Modern Physician, 7(32):198-202 (Japanese).
  • Molnar LJ, Eby DW, Bogard SE, Kostyniuk LP, Zakrajsek J, St. Louis RM, Zanier N, Ryan LD, LeBlanc D, Smith J, Yung R, Nyquist L, DiGuiseppi C, Li G, Mielenz TJ, Strogatz D, and the LongROAD Research Team. (2017) Objective Measures of Driving Exposure and Patterns among a Large Cohort of Older Drivers. Research Brief. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org
  • Molnar LJ, Eby DW, Bogard SE, LeBlanc DJ, and Zakrajsek JS. (2018) Using naturalistic driving data to better understand the driving exposure and patterns of older drivers. Traffic Injury Prevention, 19(sup 1): S83-S88. DOI: 10.1080/15389588.2017.1379601
  • Molnar LJ, Eby DW, Vivoda JM, Bogard SE, Zakrajsek J, St. Louis RM, Zanier N, Ryan LD, LeBlanc D, Smith J, Yung R, Nyquist L, DiGuiseppi C, Li G, Mielenz TJ, Strogatz D, and the LongROAD Research Team. (2018) The effects of demographics, functioning, and perceptions on the relationship between self-reported and objective measures of driving exposure and patterns among older adults. Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour 54:367-377. DOI: 10.1016/j.trf.2018.02.026
  • Ng, L.S., Guralnik, J., Man, C., DiGuiseppi, C., Strogatz, D., Eby, D.W., Ryan, L.H., Molnar, L.J., Betz, M.E., Hill, L., Li, G., Crowe, C.L., & Mielenz, T.J. (2019) Association of physical function with driving space and crashes among older adults. The Gerontologist. DOI: 10.1093/geront/gny178.
  • Strogatz D, Mielenz T, Johnson A, Baker I, Robinson M, Mebust S, Andrews H, Betz M, Eby DW, Johnson R, Jones V, Leu C, Molnar LJ, Rebok G, & Li G. (in press) The importance of driving and potential impact of driving cessation for rural and urban older adults. The Journal of Rural Health DOI: 10.1111/jrh.12369
  • Talwar A, Hill LL, DiGuiseppi C, Betz ME, Eby DW, Molnar LJ, Kelley-Baker T, Villavicencio L, Andrews HF, Li G, and Strogatz D, on behalf of the LongROAD Research Team (in press) Patterns of self-reported driving while intoxicated among older adults. Journal of Applied Gerontology.
  • Talwar A, Mielenz TJ, Hill LL, Andrews HF, Li G, Molnar LJ, Eby DW, Betz ME, Strogatz D, and DiGuiseppi C on behalf of the LongROAD Research Team (in press) Relationship between physical activity and motor vehicle crashes among older adult drivers. Journal of Primary Care and Community Health.
  • Zanier N, Molnar JL, Eby DW, Zakrajsek J, Ryan L, St. Louis RM, Stanciu S, LeBlanc D, Kostyniuk LP, Smith J, Yung R, Nyquist L, DiGuiseppi D, Li G, Mielenz TJ, Strogatz D, and the LongROAD Research Team. (2019) Improving safe mobility: An assessment of vehicles and technologies among a large cohort of older drivers. Occupational Therapy in Health Care 24(1):1-21. DOI: 10.1080/07380577.2018.1528653
  • Zanier N, Molnar LJ, Eby DW, Zakrajsek J, Ryan L, St. Louis RM, Stanciu S, LeBlanc D, Kostyniuk, LP, Smith J, Yung R, Nyquist L, DiGuiseppi C, Li G, Mielenz TJ, Strogatz D, and the LongROAD Research Team. (2018) Observed Maintenance, Damage, Technologies, and Adaptations Among Vehicles of Older Drivers: A LongROAD Study. Research Brief. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAAFoundation.org