Driving Habits of Older Adults: A Look at Rural vs. Urban Drivers in Kansas

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dc.contributor.author Bhattacharya, Shelley
dc.contributor.author Diaz, Kristina
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-27T14:33:26Z
dc.date.available 2012-11-27T14:33:26Z
dc.date.issued 2012-11-27
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2271/1115
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND: The older adult population is the fastest growing cohort in Kansas, resulting in a growing number of older drivers. With age, changes in the ability to drive can compromise safety. Although it is challenging for health care providers to identify unsafe older drivers, it would be helpful to know what common driving habits they share. This exploratory study evaluated differences in the self-reported driving behaviors of older drivers in urban and rural settings of Kansas. METHODS: A one-page, 19-item survey was administered to patients over age 65 in the waiting rooms of two physician medical offices in urban Kansas City and rural Junction City, Kansas. RESULTS: A total of 105 surveys were completed. Rural drivers reported they were involved in approximately 9% more accidents than the urban drivers (p = 0.166). Rural drivers were more likely to drive in poor weather conditions, such as snow, ice, fog, and rain (p = 0.032). Eyeglasses were worn by 10% of the rural cohort compared to 37.8% of the urban cohort (p = 0.0044). More urban drivers reported they did not want to make changes to their current driving habits (71% vs 40%; p = 0.004). Urban drivers drove a longer distance to reach their destinations. Drivers from both environments avoided unfamiliar roads and did not use cell phones or global positioning system (GPS) devices while driving. CONCLUSIONS: By understanding the habits of older drivers, healthcare providers can tailor safe driving messages to support safe driving and enhance patient safety. Physicians could benefit from knowing that older rural drivers wore their glasses less frequently, trended towards having more accidents, and were more prone to drive during inclement weather. Urban Kansas drivers drove further to get to their destinations than their rural Kansas counterparts. Understanding these driving habits and tailoring their prevention messages accordingly may help health care providers in Kansas improve older patient’s safe driving behaviors. en_US
dc.subject.mesh automobile driving
dc.subject.mesh aged
dc.subject.mesh rural population
dc.subject.mesh urban population
dc.subject.mesh accident prevention
dc.title Driving Habits of Older Adults: A Look at Rural vs. Urban Drivers in Kansas en_US
dc.type Article en_US
rft.spage 134 en_US
dc.contributor.organization Institution:The University of Kansas Medical Center en_US
dc.ispartof.issn 1948-2035
dc.ispartof.issue 4 en_US
dc.ispartof.title Publication::Kansas Journal of Medicine en_US
dc.ispartof.volume 5 en_US

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