Some options for assessing older driver fitness to drive for licensing purposes
Keywords: Older Drivers/Users
Submission Date: 2007
Several licensing models around the world use a screening test in assessing older drivers? fitness to drive. For example, the proposed Australasian older driver licensing model incorporates a screening assessment of older drivers identified as being at-risk by health or other authorities. Some drivers are either ?failed? or ?passed? ? with drivers whose test performance has been inconclusive, being referred for further in-depth assessment.
The Useful Field of View (UFOV) screening test has been extensively evaluated over the past decade or so, with results commonly confirming a statistically significant association between test performance and various measures of crash risk. Arguably, this test holds the most potential for licensing authorities.
An Austroads project currently being conducted in Western Australia involves a case-control study to assess the usefulness of UFOV and other assessment options to licensing authorities when assessing older drivers. Around 60 Cases (drivers aged 75 years and older in at-fault crashes within the previous six months) and 60 Controls (drivers aged 75 years and older who have been crash-free over the previous two years) are being compared across a range of measures including performance on the UFOV.
Preliminary results based on 39 Cases and 39 Controls indicate that several measures have a statistically significant association with recent crash involvement. Once all testing has been completed, more sophisticated statistical analyses (e.g. a regression analysis, diagnostic accuracy testing) will be undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of using these tests for screening older drivers.
This paper explores the different ways in which UFOV and other measures of fitness to drive might assist in the assessment of older drivers generally and within the Australasian licensing model, specifically.