Research

 

 

Changes in women’s driving behaviour across the lifespan

Aim: The purpose of this research is to examine whether women’s driving behaviour is affected as they age by feelings of vulnerability and views about driving risk. The aim is to provide women with strategies to reduce their fears and extend their safe driving lifespan.

Challenges: 
– The population is ageing
– Drivers are also getting older
– More women drivers on the road

Overview: Although older women are the fastest growing group of drivers, they are currently under-researched. Women tend to give up driving earlier and in better health than men, even though they have a greater life expectancy and a higher risk of health problems that can affect their mobility. Stopping driving too soon has been linked with loneliness, poor health and depression. This project examines whether feelings of vulnerability and views about driving risk affect women’s driving and, if so, seeks to promote positive driving habits which could help to extend women’s driving lifespan.

Research

Summary: Completed questionnaires have already been collected from 395 drivers aged between 18 and 78 years. Responses show that women feel more vulnerable than men when driving but are less likely to adopt positive strategies to manage their worries. Additionally, interviews with 48 drivers have revealed a range of safety strategies used to manage concerns when driving. The next step is to relay these strategies in an education pack to a sample of drivers and test whether they can successfully reduce feelings of vulnerability and positively affect driving habits