How do older adult drivers self-regulate? Characteristics of self-regulation classes defined by latent class analysis

J Safety Res. 2017 Jun;61:205-210. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2017.01.002. Epub 2017 Jan 17.


Problem: Motor-vehicle crashes were the second leading cause of injury death for adults aged 65-84years in 2014. Some older drivers choose to self-regulate their driving to maintain mobility while reducing driving risk, yet the process remains poorly understood.

Methods: Data from 729 older adults (aged ≥60years) who joined an older adult ride service program between April 1, 2010 and November 8, 2013 were analyzed to define and describe classes of driving self-regulation. Latent class analysis was employed to characterize older adult driving self-regulation classes using driving frequency and avoidance of seven driving situations. Logistic regression was used to explore associations between characteristics affecting mobility and self-regulation class.

Results: Three classes were identified (low, medium, and high self-regulation). High self-regulating participants reported the highest proportion of always avoiding seven risky driving situations and the lowest driving frequency followed by medium and low self-regulators. Those who were female, aged 80years or older, visually impaired, assistive device users, and those with special health needs were more likely to be high self-regulating compared with low self-regulating.

Conclusions and practical applications: Avoidance of certain driving situations and weekly driving frequency are valid indicators for describing driving self-regulation classes in older adults. Understanding the unique characteristics and mobility limitations of each class can guide optimal transportation strategies for older adults.

Keywords: Mobility; Motor vehicle; Older adult; Older driver; Self-regulation.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobility Limitation
  • Sex Factors