If you’re thinking that little old lady driving 35 miles per hour in the passing lane shouldn’t be behind the wheel, you may be right. Studies at Rhode Island Hospital, and elsewhere, have shown that our driving abilities decline with age, and for those with cognitive issues such as dementia, it can be even worse.
A standardized road test – much like the one teenagers take to receive their learner’s permit and driver’s license – is often used to measure an individual’s performance, including those of older adults. But researchers at the Rhode Island Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center went a step further, installing cameras in the personal vehicles of test subjects for two weeks, and then comparing their performance to the standardized test. The study is published in the November 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.