cognition, driving habits, older drivers



  1. Petrakos, Davithoula MPH
  2. Freund, Barbara Doll PhD


A retrospective chart review was conducted to describe the driving habit characteristics of older drivers referred for formal driving evaluation and compare habits of drivers found to be unsafe to drive with those of safe and restricted drivers. The subject population composed of community-dwelling older drivers (65 years or older) referred to a clinical driving evaluation program. At the time of the driving evaluation the Driving Habits Questionnaire (DHQ), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Clock Drawing Test (CDT), Trail Making Tests (Parts A and B), and a driving simulation were conducted. Logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between driving outcomes (dependent variable) and the selected variables from the DHQ. Driving habits did not predict driving evaluation outcomes. The CDT, the MMSE, and age were predictors of driving outcomes. In this sample of drivers, more than one-third were cognitively impaired when evaluated by the CDT and the MMSE and another one-third were borderline, whereas more than two-thirds were found unsafe to drive. Impaired cognition, along the continuum of mild to severe, negatively affects driving competency. Future research should continue to identify driving habits and restrictions that allow drivers to safely continue driving, particularly focusing on mild cognitive impairment and driving performance.