Study Finds Cognitive Tests May Predict Driving Safety in Alzheimer Sufferers

Doctors may be able to use certain cognitive tests to help determine whether a person with Alzheimer's disease can safely get behind the wheel. The research is published in the Feb. 10, 2009, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"The number of people with dementia is increasing as our population ages, and we will face a growing public health problem of elderly drivers with memory loss," said study author Jeffrey Dawson, ScD, with the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

In the study, 40 drivers with early Alzheimer's disease and 115 elderly drivers without this diagnosis underwent a combination of off-road tests that measured thinking, movement, and visual skills. The participants also drove a 35-mile route in and outside the city. Driving safety errors were recorded by a driving expert, based on a video review of the drive.

The research found drivers with Alzheimer's disease committed an average of 42 safety mistakes, or 27 percent more than the drivers without Alzheimer's disease, who made an average of 33 safety errors on the test drive. The most common mistakes were lane violations. For every five years older the participant was, the number of safety errors went up by about two and a half, regardless of whether or not they had Alzheimer's disease.

Among drivers with Alzheimer's disease, those who performed better on the off-road tests made fewer on-road safety errors.

"The goal is to prevent crashes while still maximizing patients' rights and freedom to be mobile," said Dawson. "By measuring driver performance through off-road tests of memory, visual, and motor abilities, we may be able to develop a standardized assessment of a person's fitness to drive."

The study was supported by the National Institute on Aging. For more information, go to www.aan.com.

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022

    Featuring:

    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
    • MACHINE GUARDING
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
    • EHS SOFTWARE
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue