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Directions in Highway Safety, Fall 2007 Cover Page Download Newsletter pdf
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Fall 2007 | Vol. 10 | No. 3

Study Says Course Can Improve Senior Drivers' Performance

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A new study for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Yale University reveals that drivers age 70 or older can improve their driving by taking improvement courses and behind-the-wheel training.

Seniors Driving Study

Twenty-seven million drivers are currently 70 or older, and the Census Bureau predicts that number could grow to near 50 million by 2030. The study was undertaken to research the safety risk of older drivers. According to AAA Foundation President Peter Kissinger, "An intervention, such as driving improvement classes that include behind-the-wheel training, can enhance senior driving performance and potentially prolong their safe driving years." Kissinger continues, "Hopefully, this study will encourage seniors, families and health care professionals to engage in discussion about this issue."

The study, "Enhancement of Driver Performance Among Older Drivers," followed 126 drivers age 70 or older who recorded suboptimal driving performance scores during road tests. Participants were then divided into two groups-one undergoing eight hours of classroom training, based in part on AAA's Driver Improvement Program, plus two hours of behind-the-wheel training, and the other serving as the control group. Drivers who took the classroom and on-road training showed significant improvement in their driving performance and knowledge test scores.

The report is available at www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/EnhancingSeniorDrivingPerfReport.pdf.