With the growing ageing population, there is a clear and urgent need for the development of reliable and valid measures to screen for fitness to drive in older adults with cognitive decline. However, at present, there are no guidelines or gold standard assessment methods available to assess cognitive functions relevant for driving, and for identifying when patients with cognitive decline are no longer safe to drive. Accordingly, this study aims to: (a) identify cognitive correlates of reduced driving capacity in older adults and (b) identify a combination of cognitive measures that best predict driving capacity. The findings from this study will inform the development of an online cognitive screening tool that can be used to identify at-risk adults requiring a formal on-road driving assessment. The findings from the research program will have critical implications for road safety, such that they will inform the development of a bedside screening tool that can be used to assess whether or not a formal driving assessment is required, which will reduce the potential of unnecessary driving assessments in older adults who are cognitively fit to drive.
Dr Kayla Stefanidis is employed as a Research Fellow within the Road Safety Research Collaboration Unit at the University of the Sunshine Coast.