Driving, Aging, and Traumatic Brain Injury: Integrating Findings From the Literature


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Abstract

ObjectiveIn order to address the potential compounded risk in the population of aging traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors who continue to drive, the authors synthesized literatures regarding the impact of aging or TBI on driving.Study DesignPubMed searches were conducted utilizing combinations of the following terms: driving, aging, elderly, TBI, cognition, seizures, vision, hearing, rehabilitation, sleep, fatigue, and assessment. Additional sources were also identified from the bibliographies of articles obtained and the Transportation Research Information Service electronic database. Clinically relevant human studies written in English were reviewed.ResultsUsing a conceptual framework developed by W. H. Brouwer and F. K. Withaar (1997), the authors of the current review highlight driving-related obstacles for TBI survivors and aging adults and suggest that individuals aging with TBI may be at increased risk for driving-related problems. Implications: Areas for clinical consideration include seizures, sleepiness and fatigue, vision, cognition, driving assessment, and caregiver involvement. The need for further study of postacute driving assessment and rehabilitation is highlighted.

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