IPoster: Awareness Intervention in Seniors for Safe and Responsible Driving

Purpose: Due to the constant increase of life expectancy, seniors driving is becoming a public health problem. This study aims to assess the impact of an awareness tool for safe and responsible driving (OSCAR) on seniors’ (1) interest, openness and knowledge of safe driving; (2) awareness of changes in their driving abilities; and (3) use of compensatory strategies.

Methods: A preexperimental design, with pretest (T0) and posttest (T1), was used with 30 experimented drivers, aged 60 to 77 years and presenting good visual acuities with their habitual corrections. At T0, participants were asked to answer three questionnaires: 1) Interest, Openness and Knowledge (IOK), 2) Changes Occurred in driving Abilities (COA) and 3) Utilization of Compensatory Strategies (UCS). Afterwards, the participants received an intervention about safe and responsible driving; OSCAR was read and commented by a research assistant. A copy of OSCAR was given to all participants for them to consult at home. Eight weeks after the intervention (T1), the participants responded again to the same questionnaires (IOK, COA and UCS). The scores before (T0) and after (T1) the intervention were compared with paired tests and the effect sizes were calculated.

Results: Overall, the results show a positive impact of OSCAR on senior drivers. There was a statistically significant improvement in mean scores for all questionnaires (IOK, COA and UCS) (p≤.001) and important effect sizes were observed (d>0.8).

Conclusion(s): This study demonstrate that OSCAR can increase knowledge about safe driving and awareness of the limits of driving for seniors as well as enhance use of compensatory strategies. Given that the number of senior drivers is constantly increasing, such awareness interventions could play a major role for safety of public road users. Further research should assess the impact of OSCAR on persons whose deficits are due to pathological aging.

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