The role of cognitive and visual abilities as predictors in the Multifactorial Model of Driving Safety

Anstey, Kaarin J., Horswill, Mark, Wood, Joanne M., & Hatherly, Christopher (2012) The role of cognitive and visual abilities as predictors in the Multifactorial Model of Driving Safety. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 45(March), pp. 766-774.

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Objective The current study evaluated part of the Multifactorial Model of Driving Safety to elucidate the relative importance of cognitive function and a limited range of standard measures of visual function in relation to the Capacity to Drive Safely. Capacity to Drive Safely was operationalized using three validated screening measures for older drivers. These included an adaptation of the well validated Useful Field of View (UFOV) and two newer measures, namely a Hazard Perception Test (HPT), and a Hazard Change Detection Task (HCDT).

Method Community dwelling drivers (n = 297) aged 65–96 were assessed using a battery of measures of cognitive and visual function.

Results Factor analysis of these predictor variables yielded factors including Executive/Speed, Vision (measured by visual acuity and contrast sensitivity), Spatial, Visual Closure, and Working Memory. Cognitive and Vision factors explained 83–95% of age-related variance in the Capacity to Drive Safely. Spatial and Working Memory were associated with UFOV, HPT and HCDT, Executive/Speed was associated with UFOV and HCDT and Vision was associated with HPT.

Conclusion The Capacity to Drive Safely declines with chronological age, and this decline is associated with age-related declines in several higher order cognitive abilities involving manipulation and storage of visuospatial information under speeded conditions. There are also age-independent effects of cognitive function and vision that determine driving safety.

Impact and interest:

30 citations in Scopus
26 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 47282
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: hazard perception, Useful Field of View, cognitive decline, driving
DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.10.006
ISSN: 0001-4575
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Elsevier.
Copyright Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Accident Analysis & Prevention. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Accident Analysis & Prevention, 45, (March 2012).
Deposited On: 28 Nov 2011 22:34
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2013 21:49

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