Driving ability in patients with dementia

Marco Mauri, Elena Sinforiani, Maria Cuzzoni, Giorgio Bono, Chiara Zucchella
2014 Functional Neurology   unpublished
The aim of this study was to characterize the driving behavior of a sample of patients with dementia. Demographic and clinical characteristics and parameters considered to be the most significant predictors of driving ability were collected. Of the total 198 patients enrolled, 172 were still driving. Many subjects (30-65%) were found to have modified their driving habits (reducing driving time and mileage, avoiding driving at night and during rush hours, sticking to familiar routes). The
more » ... s' own rating of their driving ability was significantly higher than their care-givers' rating (51% versus 29%). Crash history was not a significant variable. The patients' restriction of their driving increased significantly (p<0.01) with age and increasing worsening of cognitive, functional and behavioral variables. In the absence of a gold standard for determining fitness to drive, the patients' driving habits were self-regulated and, in particular, regulated by their caregivers. Age and degree of dementia can be considered among the best predictors of driving safety.