Are older drivers’ driving patterns during an on-road driving task representative of their real-world driving patterns?
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OBJECTIVE: The current study investigated whether older drivers' driving patterns during a customized on-road driving task were representative of their real-world driving patterns. METHODS: Two hundred and eight participants (male: 68.80%; mean age = 81.52 years, SD = 3.37 years, range = 76.00-96.00 years) completed a customized on-road driving task that commenced from their home and was conducted in their own vehicle. Participants' real-world driving patterns for the preceding 4-month period were also collected via an in-car recording device (ICRD) that was installed in each participant's vehicle. RESULTS: During the 4-month period prior to completing the on-road driving task, participants' median real-world driving trip distance was 2.66 km (interquartile range [IQR] = 1.14-5.79 km) and their median on-road driving task trip distance was 4.41 km (IQR = 2.83-6.35 km). Most participants' on-road driving task trip distances were classified as representative of their real-world driving trip distances (95.2%, n = 198). CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that most older drivers were able to devise a driving route that was representative of their real-world driving trip distance. Future research will examine whether additional aspects of the on-road driving task (e.g., average speed, proportion of trips in different speed zones) are representative of participants' real-world driving patterns.
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