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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 918782, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/918782
Review Article

Driving into the Sunset: Supporting Cognitive Functioning in Older Drivers

1Ergonomics Research Group, School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, UK
2Department of Psychology, Centre for Cognition and Neuroimaging, Brunel University, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, UK
3Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia

Received 14 December 2010; Revised 17 March 2011; Accepted 31 March 2011

Academic Editor: Lynda Anderson

Copyright © 2011 Mark S. Young and David Bunce. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The rise in the aging driver population presents society with a significant challenge—how to maintain safety and mobility on the roads. On the one hand, older drivers pose a higher risk of an at-fault accident on a mile-for-mile basis; on the other hand, independent mobility is a significant marker of quality of life in aging. In this paper, we review the respective literatures on cognitive neuropsychology and ergonomics to suggest a previously unexplored synergy between these two fields. We argue that this conceptual overlap can form the basis for future solutions to what has been called “the older driver problem.” Such solutions could be found in a range of emerging driver assistance technologies offered by vehicle manufacturers, which have the potential to compensate for the specific cognitive decrements associated with aging that are related to driving.