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  1. Shih, Huei-Yu MS
  2. Chu, I-Hua PhD
  3. Wang, Chih-Chung MS, PT
  4. Liaw, Lih-Jiun PhD, PT
  5. Hsu, Hsiu-Tao MS
  6. Wu, Wen-Lan PhD, PT


Background and Purpose: The ability to drive is important for the elderly to maintain their mobility and independence. Therefore, to investigate age-related changes in driving-related functions and their relation to the braking ability of drivers driving at high speeds, subjects were organized by age into study groups (younger, middle-aged, and older).


Methods: For a correlational comparative study, 36 male participants were recruited and instructed to complete the Assessment of Driving-Related Skills (ADReS), lower limbs muscle test, and driving tasks on a driving simulator under 3 speed conditions. For the driving tasks, 3 event phases were analyzed: perception-reaction time (PRT), brake-movement time, and fast pressing time.


Results: Older drivers demonstrated a significant decline in certain driving-related cognitive and motor abilities, as well as hip flexion and knee extension muscle strength, and exhibited a significantly longer PRT under moderate- and high-speed conditions compared with younger drivers. A longer PRT under moderate- and high-speed conditions was significantly associated with poor driving-related cognitive and motor abilities.


Conclusion: The increased PRT for older drivers under moderate- and high-speed conditions might increase their risk of vehicular accidents on highways.