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Self-regulation of driving by older adults: a LongROAD study

Self-regulation, or the modification of driving by driving less or avoiding challenging situations in response to declining abilities, is increasingly being studied as a way to help older drivers maintain independence and extend the period over which they can safely drive. However, considerable research gaps remain with respect to whether older drivers can accurately adjust their driving in response to their age-related declines, the extent to which older drivers engage in self-regulatory behaviors, the factors affecting self-regulation, and the extent to which it actually improves safety and mobility.

The overall purpose of this paper is to report findings from an extensive synthesis of the literature on self-regulation of driving among older adults. The synthesis builds on earlier reviews of the literature by the authors, as well as extends literature findings on specific aspects self-regulation.

A set of search terms was developed that included combinations of three subsets of terms: self-regulation terms, driving terms, and aging terms. The search terms were used to target key journal articles, technical reports, conference papers and proceedings, white papers, books, and other documents on the topic. Inclusion criteria for the review included: 1) published primary quantitative or qualitative studies reporting results in English; 2) studies including older drivers as at least part of the sample; and 3) publications from 2009 onward, supplemented by our repository of relevant pre-2009 publications from earlier exhaustive reviews.

Findings from the synthesis are presented with regard to prevalence and type of selfregulation, factors associated with self-regulation, and limitations of the self-regulation literature.

A framework for future research is needed that represents a more comprehensive, theoretically-informed, and uniform approach to understanding how older drivers selfregulate their driving at multiple levels of driver performance and decision making. A set of recommendations for such a framework is proposed.

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