ERIC Number: ED311392
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Physical Fitness and the Aging Driver. Phase I.
West Virginia Univ., Morgantown. Dept. of Sport and Exercise.; West Virginia Univ., Morgantown. Dept. of Safety and Health Studies.
It is generally recognized that age, by itself, is not an adequate criterion with which to judge a person's ability to drive. Individuals do not age at the same rate, and there are large intraindividual differences in the aging process. This study, the first phase of a proposed two-phase research project, investigated the relationship of physical fitness to older driver performance by examining descriptively the relative contributions of various measures of cardiorespiratory efficiency, range of motion, and reaction time/movement time to field-based assessments of older driver performance. A total of 106 subjects, ages 20-35 (N=43) and ages 60-75 (N=63) were administered a battery of health, psychomotor, and physical fitness tests and a field-based assessment of automobile driving skill. In general the results indicated that the physical fitness of older drivers was related to their ability to safety drive an automobile. Older people with higher levels of physical fitness tended to be more proficient at driving than were older people with lower levels of physical fitness. Joint flexibility and reaction time were found to be most predictive of driving ability with cardiorespiratory fitness somewhat less related to driving ability. If a sufficiently strong relationship is established by further research, the older driver may be given a test of physical fitness as part of a driver's licensing examination to determine the levels of his or her driving ability. Plans for phase 2 of the research are briefly outlined, and a list of 83 references is appended. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: West Virginia Univ., Morgantown. Dept. of Sport and Exercise.; West Virginia Univ., Morgantown. Dept. of Safety and Health Studies.