Current UMTC Research Projects
Coping with the Aging Driving Population

Dr. Michael A. Knodler Jr., Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Sponsor: Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Abstract:
In recent years, there has been increased attention given to older drivers and their role in highway safety. High publicity crashes, increases in older driver fatality rates, and other similar factors have been the basis for policy revisions, educational campaigns, and additional research aimed at reducing the safety risks associated with older drivers. What is too often absent from the dialogue around older drivers is the fact that unlike some other high-risk drivers, older drivers pose the greatest hazard to themselves. The need for greater attention to older driver safety is supported not only by the issue of injury severity, but also by the growing population of older adults in the US. The objectives are as follows 1.) Identify in detail, renewal procedures that have been determined to be most effective in determining driving ability (written test, road test, vision test, ect.) and assess tool that can be used to measure physical abilities associated with effective driving. 2.) Determine if special process for renewing licenses such as older driver restrictions, length of renewal cycles, requirements to have physicians report unfit drivers of all ages, and review challenges associated with perceived discrimination due to age.

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