General Communications and Education
Many organizations offer educational material for older drivers to inform them of driving risks, help them assess their driving knowledge and capabilities, suggest methods to adapt to and compensate for changing capabilities, and guide them in restricting their driving in more risky situations (Potts et al., 2004).
Other material is available to assist drivers and family members in understanding how aging affects driving, the effects of medications and health conditions, how to assess an older driver’s skills, how to use specialized vehicle equipment to adapt to certain physical limitations, how to guide older drivers into voluntarily restricting their driving, and how to report older drivers to the department of motor vehicles if necessary (TRB, 2005).
A NHTSA-sponsored project conducted by Eby et al. (2008) sought to improve existing self-screening tools for older drivers by focusing on symptoms associated with medical conditions. The researchers created a self-screening survey to provide feedback to older drivers to increase general awareness of issues associated with driving and the aging process, and to provide recommendations for behavioral changes and vehicle modifications drivers could make to maintain safe driving. Evaluation results found the self-screening instrument had a positive value, but primarily as a “screening tool to determine gross impairment rather than fitness to drive” (Eby et al., 2008, p. 19).
Law enforcement officers have formed many partnerships with public and private organizations to give talks, teach safe driving courses, work with media on news stories and public service announcements, and other communications and outreach initiatives. TRB (2005) summarizes several examples.
A review of the literature yielded no evaluations of the effects of general communications and education on driving or on crashes.