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Research Article  |   March 2008
Critical Review and Analysis of the Impact of the Physical Infrastructure on the Driving Ability, Performance, and Safety of Older Adults
Author Affiliations
  • Paula Christine Bohr, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Director and Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy Program, Maryville University, 650 Maryville University Drive, St. Louis, MO 63141; pbohr@maryville.edu
Article Information
Community Mobility and Driving / Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Driving and Community Mobility
Research Article   |   March 2008
Critical Review and Analysis of the Impact of the Physical Infrastructure on the Driving Ability, Performance, and Safety of Older Adults
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2008, Vol. 62, 159-172. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.2.159
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2008, Vol. 62, 159-172. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.2.159
Abstract

Literature on the impact of physical infrastructure on older adult safe driving performance was reviewed in 2005 as part of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Evidence-Based Literature Review Project. Existing guidelines for driving environments, related to changes in visual, cognitive, and psychomotor abilities associated with the aging process (as published in the Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians, Federal Highway Administration, 2001), are exhaustive, but the authors made no attempt to critically assess the strength of the study design or level of evidence. In laboratory studies since 1999, the interventions lacked applicability to real-life driving environments. Further investigation of the effectiveness of best practice interventions and how the driving environment can better accommodate the needs of older drivers is needed. Occupational therapy interventions that focus on the occupation of driving and compensation and education strategies that allow older adults to drive safely as long as possible are included.