Health literacy of older drivers and the importance of health experience for self-regulation of driving behaviour

K Sargent-Cox, Timothy Windsor, Janine Walker, Kaarin Anstey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    This study provides much needed information on the education level of older drivers regarding the impact of health conditions and medications on personal driving safety, where they source this information, and how this knowledge influences self-regulation of driving. Random and convenience sampling secured 322 Australian drivers (63.9% males) aged 65 years and over (M = 77.35 years, SD = 7.35) who completed a telephone interview. The majority of respondents (86%) had good knowledge about health conditions (health knowledge) and driving safety, however more than 50% was classified as having poor knowledge on the effects of certain medications (medication knowledge) and driving safety. Poorer health knowledge was associated with a reduced likelihood of driving over 100 km in adjusted models. Being older and having more than one medical condition was found to increase the likelihood of self-regulation of driving. Results indicate that health knowledge was less important for predicting driving behaviour than health experience. Of great interest was that up to 85.7% of respondents reported not receiving advice about the potential impact of their medical condition and driving from their doctor. The findings indicate a need for improved dissemination of evidence-based health information and education for older drivers and their doctors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)898-905
    Number of pages8
    JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2011


    • Driving safety
    • Health literacy
    • Older drivers
    • Self-regulation


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