Reaction Time and Mobility Testing in a Cross-Canada Population of Older Drivers
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Older drivers over the age of 70 are a rapidly growing part of the Canadian population, and increasing driver age is associated with a higher prevalence of and morbidity in motor vehicle accidents. Current driver evaluation guidelines for physicians are insufficient, and individual driver testing is costly. This study, as a part of the Canadian Driving Research Initiative for Vehicular Safety in the Elderly (Candrive), examined results from several reaction time and mobility tests, conducted on older drivers from seven sites across Canada. The testing protocols used in this study were analyzed for validity and reliability, and testing performance was analyzed to determine whether relationships exist between aging, physical and cognitive performance, and driver crash risk. This study found that the Vericom Reaction Timer was a reliable and valid test for reaction time, while the Ruler Drop Test was not. Longitudinal data showed that aging may affect lower body mobility. Analysis of past MVA data showed no differences in physical performance testing between crashing and non-crashing individuals.