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Senior Mobility

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

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Keeping older adults driving safely: a research synthesis of advanced in-vehicle technologies
David W. Eby, Lisa J. Molnar, Liang Zhang, Renée M. St. Louis, Nicole Zanier, Lidia P. Kostyniuk

report

  BackgroundAdvanced in-vehicle technologies have been proposed as a potential way to keep older adults driving for as long as they...

Self-regulation of driving by older adults: a LongROAD study
Lisa J. Molnar, David W. Eby, Liang Zhang, Nicole Zanier, Renée M. St. Louis, Lidia P. Kostyniuk

report

Background Self-regulation, or the modification of driving by driving less or avoiding challenging situations in response to declining...

Has the time come for an older driver vehicle?
David W. Eby, Lisa J. Molnar

journal article IN: Journal of ergonomics. Special Issue 3 (2014)

The populations of many nations and, indeed, the entire world are growing older. As people age, they are more likely to experience...

Has the time come for an older driver vehicle?
David W. Eby, Lisa J. Molnar

journal article IN: Journal of ergonomics.

The populations of many nations and, indeed, the entire world are growing older. As people age, they are more likely to experience...

Driving avoidance by older adults : is it always self-regulation?
Lisa J. Molnar, David W. Eby, Dr. Judith Charlton, J. Langford, S. Koppel, Shawn Marshall, Malcolm Man-Son-Hing.

journal article IN: Accident analysis and prevention. Vol. 57 (Aug. 2013), p. 96-104.

Self-regulation shows promise as a means by which older adults can continue to drive at some level without having to stop altogether....