WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Among older adults, there was a decrease in the number of collisions as drivers and an increase in injuries as pedestrians and cyclists following a March 2017 policy amendment for a cognitive screening test for older drivers at driver’s license renewal, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Haruhiko Inada, M.D., Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues used police-reported data on the number of collisions as drivers and injuries as pedestrians and cyclists among people aged 70 years or older in Japan. They examined the ratio of the monthly number of collisions per population among drivers of three groups aged 75 years or older (75 to 79, 80 to 84, and 85 years or older), who were targeted or exposed by the policy, to that among control drivers aged 70 to 74 years, who were unaffected or unexposed by the policy.
The researchers identified 602,885 collisions as drivers and 196,889 injuries as pedestrians and cyclists among people aged 70 years and older from July 2012 to December 2019. After the policy amendment in March 2017, there was a decrease in collisions among male drivers, and in both sexes, an increase in injuries was seen among some age subgroups. From March 2017 to December 2019, the cumulative estimated changes in the numbers of collisions and injuries were −3,670 and 959, respectively.
“Future studies should examine the effectiveness of mitigation measures, such as alternative, safe transportation, and accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists,” the authors write.
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