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Almost all seniors rate driving as good

  |   May 29, 2012 at 8:57 PM
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 29 (UPI) -- Eighty-five percent of senior U.S. drivers -- mean age 74 -- rated their driving as excellent or good although 25 percent reported a crash, researchers say.

Study author Lesley Ross, assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, also found none of the study participants rated their driving as poor and fewer than 1 percent rated their driving as fair.

Ross and colleagues analyzed Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration data from 350 older adult drivers ages 65-91 with a mean age of 74.

The drivers were asked about incidents and state-reported crashes over a five-year period. The study part also were asked to rate their own driving abilities at the end of the study.

The study, published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, found self-rated driving ability had no relationship with a previous history of adverse driving outcomes, such as crashes.

The study also found older men were more likely to have adverse driving outcomes, but that they were not more likely to be told by physicians and friends to stop or limit their driving.

"A large debate in driving research is whether or not at-risk drivers can self-regulate, and thus possibly reduce their crash risk. This research indicates that, at least for this sample, a previous history of four adverse driving outcomes has no relationship with self-reported driving ability, thus possibly indicating a lack of awareness in regards to driving abilities," Ross said in a statement.

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