Examining the relationship between naturalistic driving practices (Roadways Travelled, Speed and Braking), driving comfort and clinical tests( vision, motor and cognitive) in retirement living senior drivers.


Over the past 3 years, Drs. Anita Myers and Alexander Crizzle have been working with the University of Waterloo’s Research Institute on Aging (RIA) examining the transportation patterns of seniors living in the Schlegel retirement villages. Prior to their collaboration, the RIA had limited knowledge regarding the transportation patterns of their residents. For example, the RIA was unaware of how many residents were driving or how many were using the village shuttle service. Thus, in collaboration with the RIA, the purpose was to determine the transportation patterns (i.e. driving, bus, taxi, village shuttle, walking) of residents living in the Schlegel retirement villages. 


Only a few studies have examined the transportation patterns of older adults living in retirement homes. These studies have generally conducted retrospective analysis using secondary datasets from 20-30 years ago (Choi et al., 2012). This study is the first to prospectively examine the driving practices of senior drivers in retirement settings. As the move from the community to retirement homes can precipitate driving cessation (or may precede the move), this study was important to understand the needs of drivers and non-drivers with respect to transportation (and mobility more broadly) within these retirement complexes. Driving cessation is associated with depression, social isolation, reduced out of home activities, early institutionalization and mortality (Fonda et al., 2011; Marottoli et al., 1997; 2000). Maintaining an adequate transportation system for residents in the retirement homes is critical to ensuring social participation and quality of life. This study will shed new information on how driver perceptions, as well as the physical, visual and cognitive impairments influence driving 

Summary of findings

Participants in the study were: aged 65 and older and drove at least once a week in their respective vehicle. All participants were recruited from the Schlegel and Luther Villages. Participant driving data (from the two electronic devices over a two-week monitoring period) were collected from February 2013 to October 2013. All driving data was verified and compared to participant trip logs, used to provide information on driving context (i.e. time of day, trip purposes, weather conditions). Rebecca Lum analyzed the driving data from September to December 2014. 

Project members: 
Undergraduate Fellow
Faculty Supervisor
Faculty Supervisor
Last updated: January 08, 2017