Driving a better driving experience: a questionnaire survey of older compared with younger drivers

A questionnaire survey of drivers (n=903) was conducted covering musculoskeletal symptoms, the vehicle seat, access to specific vehicle features, ingress/egress, driving performance and driving behaviours. Significantly more discomfort was reported by older drivers (aged 65+) in the hips/thighs/buttocks and knees. Older drivers reported more difficulty parallel parking (p≤0.01), driving on a foggy day (p≤0.01), and turning their head and body to reverse (p≤0.001). They also reported that their reactions were slower than they used to be (p≤0.01). Dissatisfaction was found by all drivers with adjusting the head rest (height and distance), seat belt height and opening/closing the boot. There is a growing population of older people globally and the number of older drivers is showing a parallel increase. Clearly, efforts are needed to ensure car design of the future is more inclusive of older drivers.