Older drivers can unlearn unsafe driving behavior: study

March 14, 2012

Amherst, MA – Older drivers, including those older than 70, can change unsafe driving habits through information and intervention, according to a study from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Researchers conducted two experiments for the study. The first experiment found that drivers older than 70 checked for roadway hazards less frequently than younger drivers (between 25 and 55 years old). The second experiment compared a group of older drivers who were instructed how to properly scan for hazards against another group of older drivers who were not instructed. Those who received the information drove more safely and, after three-month and 12-month periods, they continued to drive safer than the group that did not receive the information, the study stated.

Researchers suggested that driver re-training can be useful in helping older drivers use roadways safely and should be encouraged by doctors and family members.

The study was published in the February issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science.