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Sex differences evident in self-reported but not naturalistic measurement of driving patterns of older drivers: implications for safe driving programs
It has been consistently reported that women self-regulate their driving more than men. Volunteer drivers aged 75 years and older from the suburban outskirts of Sydney, Australia joined a longitudinal study in 2012-2014. GPS in-vehicle monitoring was used to objectively measure driving and surveys of driving patterns. The study included 343 drivers (203/343, 59% men) with an average age of 80 years. Our results revealed that men were 3.85 times more likely to report driving beyond their local shire during the past year (95% CI 2.03-5.72) and 1.81 times more likely to report that they do not avoid night driving (95% CI 1.21-3.22). In contrast sex was not predictive of any objective measure of driving during a one-week period of monitoring. These findings suggest that men and women report different self-regulation practices but that actual driving exposure is quite similar. These findings can inform strategies to promote safe mobility.