Credentials Display

Jill Linder, DHSc.,OTR/L; Beth Ann Walker, PhD, MS, OTR, FAOTA; Elizabeth S. Moore, PhD; Anne Hegberg MS, OTR/L, CDRS


Background: It has been determined that both confidence and cognition impact driving performance and self-regulation. While it is known that cognitive decline impacts driving safety and that decreases in driving confidence can lead to self-driving regulation, further research is needed to determine whether cognition, demographics, and driving routines are associated with driving confidence.

Method: A non-experimental, cross-sectional design study using a convenience sample of 100 older adults was conducted to determine if individual factors are related to daytime and nighttime driving confidence.

Results: Multiple regression indicated that four variables predicted daytime driving confidence, including cognition, driving at night, highway driving, and driving importance, F(4, 95) = 6.82, p F(4, 95) = 8.58, p < .001, adjusted R2 =.23.

Conclusion: The results indicate both daytime and nighttime driving confidence in older adults is associated with greater cognition and driving in challenging situations, including at night, on the highway (daytime only), and in the winter versus summer (nighttime only). Daytime driving confidence was also associated with increased driving importance while nighttime driving confidence was associated with being male.


This study was a component of a DHS (Doctor of Health Science) research project which addressed the factors that influence driving confidence in older adults and the impact confidence has on self-regulation of driving. This study affirmed occupational therapy’s crucial role in driving and community mobility with the older adult population.