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Transportation Needs of the Older Driver: Final Report
Atkins, Randolph G.
Amy A. O'Leary
Year: 1993
VTRC No.: 93-R14
Abstract: A growing percentage of all drivers are aged 55 and older. The findings of a number of safety studies have also fostered national interest in older driver issues. The needs and problems of Virginia drivers age 55 and older were identified in 10 focus group discussions and 100 in-depth telephone interviews. Respondents described a number of roadway information problems, which were often attributed to a lack of advance warning signs, confusing sign content, and not enough informational redundancy. Visibility problems caused by poor sight distances, inclement weather, night, and large trucks were another major concern. Complex driving environments created by heavy traffic, high speeds, and other factors were a problem for many older drivers. Finally, "expectancy violations," often caused by other drivers' behavior, were a common problem. These findings replicate those of previous studies, as does the finding that older Virginia drivers often engage in "self-regulating" behaviors. The research on older driver interventions was also reviewed. The evidence related to reductions in older driver accidents has been largely inconclusive; data limitations have often been a problem.