A recent proof-of-concept study finds that a low-cost training program can reduce hazardous driving in older adults.
Researchers hope the finding will lead to the training becoming more widely available.
“On-road training and simulator training programs have been successful at reducing car accidents involving older drivers—with benefits lasting for years after the training,” says Jing Yuan, first author of the study and a PhD student at North Carolina State University. “However, many older adults are unlikely to have access to these training programs or technologies.”
“We developed a training program, called Drive Aware, that would be accessible to anyone who has a computer,” says Jing Feng, corresponding author of the study and a professor of psychology at North Carolina State University.
“Specifically, Drive Aware is a cognitive training program for older adults to help them accurately detect road hazards. The goal of our recent study was to determine the extent to which Drive Aware influences driving behaviors when trainees actually get behind the wheel,” Feng says.
The researchers found that study participants who were part of the active training group had 25% fewer “unsafe incidents” after the training. Unsafe incidents included accidents with other vehicles, pedestrians, running off the road, etc. There was no statistically significant change in the number of unsafe incidents for study participants in the passive training group or the control group.
“Not many people can afford one-on-one on-the-road training, or training that involves high-end driving simulators. But we think a lot of people would be able to access Drive Aware, and it has the potential to save a lot of lives.”
Read the full article about the cognitive training program for older drivers by Matt Shipman at Futurity.
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