The efficacy of an educational intervention in promoting self-regulation among high-risk older drivers

Accid Anal Prev. 2003 May;35(3):393-400. doi: 10.1016/s0001-4575(02)00016-7.


Visual processing impairment increases crash risk among older drivers. Many older drivers meet the legal requirements for licensing despite having vision impairments that elevate crash risk. In this study, 365 older drivers who were licensed, visually-impaired, and crash-involved in the prior year were randomly assigned to an intervention group or usual-eye-care control group to evaluate the efficacy of an educational intervention that promoted the performance of self-regulatory practices. The educational curriculum was designed to change self-perceptions about vision impairment and how it can impact driver safety and to promote the avoidance of challenging driving situations through self-regulation, leading to reductions in driving exposure. Analyses compared the intervention and control groups at pre-test and 6 months post-test with respect to self-reported perceptions about vision and driving practices. At post-test, drivers who had received the educational intervention were more likely to acknowledge that the quality of their eyesight was less than excellent, report a higher frequency of avoiding challenging driving situations (e.g. left-turns) and report performing more self-regulatory practices (e.g. three right-turns) as compared to controls. Additionally, drivers in the educational intervention group reported significantly fewer days, fewer places and fewer trips made per week as compared to those not receiving the educational intervention. These findings imply that visually-impaired older drivers at higher risk for crash involvement may benefit from educational interventions by reducing their driving exposure and increasing their avoidance of visually challenging driving situations. A critical future step in this research program will be to examine whether this educational intervention has an impact on the safety of these high-risk older drivers by reducing their crash involvement in the years following the educational intervention.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Automobile Driving / education*
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Disclosure*