Older Driver Naturalistic Driving Patterns: Early Findings from the Ozcandrive Study

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This project evaluated the naturalistic driving patterns and behaviours of 164 older Australian drivers. In-vehicle data loggers and GPS tracking devices were used to monitor changes in the average number, proportion, distance, and duration of trips, exposure to night-time, peak hour, weekday/weekend driving, and drives completed within certain distances of home over a three-year study period. Results showed that older drivers reduced both the number and distance of all trip types across the 3 years, with particularly steep declines between years 2 and 3. Trips driven at night, on weekdays and weekends, and during peak hour all declined by approximately 10% from year 1 to year 3 both in terms of the total number of trips taken and the total distance driven. The uniform nature of this decline suggests older drivers did not reduce their driving to any specific conditions or difficult/stressful traffic environments, instead reducing their exposure to all types of driving conditions. The proportion of very short trips (occurring within 5 km of home) taken by older drivers also increased significantly across the three years, while the overall distance driven within this radius decreased. This suggests participants tended to drive more frequent but shorter trips close to home as the years progressed. Recommendations include more extensive analyses to investigate whether there are specific medical, behavioural, social, and demographic variables that predict reduced driving, or whether the decline in driving is especially pronounced in any particular subgroup of drivers (e.g., those with spouses, living close to public transport, living close to family members, etc.). Of particular interest would be to establish how aware older drivers are of their reductions in driving, to what extent they are consciously limiting their time on the road, and for what reasons.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyRoads Corporation (trading as VicRoads) (Victoria)
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Older drivers
  • naturalistic driving
  • exposure patterns
  • reductions in driving
  • in-vehicle recording
  • on-road behaviour
  • vulnerable road users

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