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1 We Need to Talk the role of family, friends and social networks in helping older people give-up driving Dr. Charles Musselwhite Senior Lecturer in Traffic.

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Presentation on theme: "1 We Need to Talk the role of family, friends and social networks in helping older people give-up driving Dr. Charles Musselwhite Senior Lecturer in Traffic."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 We Need to Talk the role of family, friends and social networks in helping older people give-up driving Dr. Charles Musselwhite Senior Lecturer in Traffic and Transport Psychology, Centre for Transport & Society

2 2 To come… Context: drivers and safety Motivations to continue to drive Self-awareness and self-assessment Interventions to improve driver safety Voluntary and embedded Process of giving-up driving and quality of life Conclusion

3 3 Context

4 4 Older people as Car drivers 2. More miles driven per person Source: DfT (2002, 2006, 2010) Av, Miles driven per person per year by age in GB 1995/971998/ % change All ages % 3. Growing % of journeys as driver 1. Growing % of licence holders

5 5 Older drivers and safety

6 6 After Box, E., Mitchell., K. And Gandolfi, K (2010). Maintaining, Safe Mobility for the Ageing. London: RAC Foundation Report.

7 7 Accidents and older drivers Older drivers are involved in collisions that generally occur in daylight, at intersection and at low speeds (DfT, 2001; McGwin and Brown, 1999). Less likely to be involved in single-vehicle collisions (DfT, 2001). Have difficulty in making critical decisions under time pressure and dealing with immense traffic conditions. –overloaded with information when performing manoeuvres (Brendemuhl, Schmidt and Schenk, 1988), –merging onto roads (Schlag, 1993) –junctions and intersections, especially those with no traffic control (e.g. traffic signals and lights) and those that involve right hand turns (in the UK – i.e. across the oncoming traffic) (Hakaimes-Blomqvist, 1988; Maycock, Lockwood and Lester, 1991; Presusser, Williams, Ferguson, Ulmer and Weinstein, 1998). –Research suggests inappropriate gap selection, high task complexity and distraction from other road use as underlying factors that contribute to intersection and turning crashes (Oxley, Fildes, Corben and Langford, 2006).

8 8 Motivations to continue to drive

9 9 Always driven – car based society Increasing level of services moving out of town centres and residential zones Sense of control over environment Driving increases self-confidence, mastery and self-esteem and feelings of autonomy, protection and prestige (Ellaway et al, 2003) Giving up driving is associated with an increase in depressive symptoms (Ra et al, 1997) W-H Mobility Deprivation

10 10 W-H Motivations for travel PRIMARY TRAVEL NEEDS Practical Needs Make appointments, access shops and services, work SECONDARY TRAVEL NEEDS Psychosocial Needs The need for independence, control, status, roles, normalness TERTIARY TRAVEL NEEDS Aesthetic Needs The need for travel for it’s own sake, to visit nature, for relaxation Source: Musselwhite, C. and Haddad, H. (2010b). Mobility, accessibility and quality of later life. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults. 11(1), Especially by car On giving-up driving – this level of need is usually met  friends  accessible transport  public transport  teleshopping? On giving-up driving this level of needs is adversely affected Isolation, no longer part of society, no longer feel normal On giving-up driving this level of needs is adversely affected Not so easy to ask for discretionary travel A reduction in mobility can result in an increase in isolation, loneliness and depression and an overall a poorer quality of life.

11 11 Self-awareness and assessment

12 12 Assessing Driving Performance Drivers already feel they are aware of their driving behaviour and adapt and compensate for alterations caused by ageing –Experience –Drive slower –Drive with greater headway –Avoid motorways –Avoid merging –Avoid night time driving –Avoid busy times But almost all consider themselves to be better than average! Almost all consider themselves better than when they were younger (Musselwhite and Haddad, 2010a) Lack of noticing feedback (Musselwhite and Haddad, 2010a) –Different quieter cars –Physiology of just noticeable difference JND) Welcome assessment and re-learning (Musselwhite and Haddad, 2010a) Previous research suggests they are not good at self-assessment ( Charlton et al. 2001; Cushman, 1996; Marattoli and Richardson, 1998 ), but maybe this can be altered through relfection-on-action (Musselwhite and Haddad, 2007, 2010a) “I don’t go out at night no more, not with my eyes the way they are” “I hate any kind of right hand turns! I always go left, left and left again!”

13 13 Interventions to improve driver safety Embedded (do not require awareness) Infrastructure - for all drivers -for all road users ? Driving test -No evidence it works Fit for purpose? Box et al. (2010) Voluntary (require awareness) In-vehicle technology - Lack of acceptance - Barrier to use Musselwhite and Haddad (2010a) Driver awareness course - Lack of evidence Korner-Bitensky, et al. (2009)

14 14 Improving awareness of the need to self-assess driver performance Social environment –Social norms: Comparison to others –Societal norms: What should I be like at this lifestage? –The role of family and friends –How to improve? encourage discussion amongst family+friends mainstream media Event –Retirement –Health –(Near)miss or accident

15 15 Process of giving-up driving

16 16 Giving-up driving

17 17 The trigger is associated with external social events –retirement from work –children leaving home “I can’t remember why I originally thought of giving-up. I suppose it just came about. Came about really from retirement, then your children live away from home. The time is right. I don’t really need to do it really.” (female, aged 78) Key, respected family member Could be taken less seriously if the “wrong” family member said it! Recognised Health problem “My daughter told me I had to give-up. It came as a surprise she said that to me. Big surprise. I hadn’t realised I’d got that bad. Well, she said it with tears in her eyes, so I think I thought she’s being really genuine here” (Male, aged 78) “My husband told me to give-up. He said I wasn’t any good. But then he’s always said that since I could drive at 21” (Female, aged 78) “The doc gave his diagnosis, right, I agree that I’m not as good as I used to be, but I’m not as bad as some of the youngsters on the road. It’s not fair!” (Male, giving-up driving at 78)” 4 diagnosed health condition 2 had keys taken by relatives

18 18 Meticulous planning –Either don’t have family or friends nearby or would feel a burden –Other modes –Other locations Social norms “ I don’t have family near by to ask and I don’t want to burden friends, so I had to...I had to get the knowledge about the local transport” (male, aged 80) “Well I know G he’s a bit older and can’t walk. He’s registered disabled. He got one of those mobility scooters.... So I suppose I can see myself using that if I am unable to walk.” (male, aged 80) Don’t gather much information, at all -Trail and error -Rely on lifts -Reciprocation discussed “I got to the bus stop and found when the buses go. But it wasn’t easy. I didn’t know what to expect” (male, aged 80) give-up. He said I wasn’t any good. But then he’s always said that since I could drive at 21” (Female, aged 78) So takes me to the hospital and on the way back we always stop for a meal or for chips and I pay. Its’ my treat. And it’s a way of saying thank you and possibly offering a contribution to petrol and that” (female, aged 80) “That’s the bus for old people who can’t drive. I can. I don’t have a licence – that’s different. It’s really for the really old. Those who really are ill and disabled. I can’t use it. I’d be laughed off it.” (male, aged 81) They were not actively searching for information All had relied on friends and family to tell them about walking and using public transport. Barrier for information gathering: not for them

19 19 Generally pleased with outcome Good quality of life “I’ve re-discovered my local area. Which is great. I forgot what the village has to offer. In fact I think it is better than a few years ago. But not using the car has forced me to use more local things.” (female, aged 75) “The bus out is a real bit of fun. I go on it with friends... and we have a day out” (female, aged 70) Largely trial and error Generally good quality of life beyond the car, characterised by Supportive family and friends Enjoying a challenge “ It’s trial and error. I went once and it was full of kids. So I tried the later one. Then you know not to use the 8.45 from here as it is full of kids. Mind you it’s better in the holidays then it’s emptier than the But usually it’s the 9.45 yes” (female, aged 78) “ I don’t go to football no longer. I’d need to change buses and can’t be doing with the palaver” (male, aged 85) Much worse quality of life Bitter and angry

20 20 Conclusion

21 21 Conclusion Many interventions aimed at improving driver performance require driver motivation to want to improve and to need to know they need to improve –Role for family and friends crucial Need to create awareness early on –Amongst families, friends –Amongst society –But how? Use of wider media? Maintain family support – –Practical –Emotional Long term: information dominant Short term: family central (stopped them being reactive?) Reactive: dissatisfied objectors Reciprocation is important –Family and friends –Independent Transport Network (ITN) America

22 22 Provide practical and emotional support FAMILY -Help appropriate giving- up of driving -help bring into consciousness -Practical -Emotional PRACTICAL EMOTIONAL Affective elements of giving-up driving -Youthfulness -Norms -Independence -Freedom Alternative transport - Lifts - Bus - Community transport Discretionary travel Information

23 23 Many thanks to my participants, to Hebba Haddad and Ian Shergold my Researchers working with me on all of this, to Verity Smith and Peter Lansley for interest and dedication on the SPARC project and my current steering group. Further reading:- Box, E., Mitchell., K. And Gandolfi, K (2010). Maintaining, Safe Mobility for the Ageing. London: RAC Foundation Report. Korner-Bitensky, N., Kua, A., Zweck, C.V., & Benthem K.V (2009). Older driver retraining: An updated systematic review of evidence of effectiveness. Journal of Safety Research, 40, Musselwhite, C.B.A. (2010). The role of education and training in helping older people to travel after the cessation of driving. International Journal of Education and Ageing, 1(2), Musselwhite, C.B.A. and Haddad, H. (2010a). Exploring older drivers' perception of driving. European Journal of Ageing, 7(3), Musselwhite, C. and Haddad, H. (2010b). Mobility, accessibility and quality of later life. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 11(1), Musselwhite, C.B.A. and Shergold, I. (2011).Contemplation and planning in successful driving cessation. Paper presented at the British Gerontology Society Conference, Plymouth, July. (+submitted to European Journal of Ageing- under review) Further information Dr Charles Musselwhite Senior Lecturer Centre for Transport & Society


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