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Development of a curriculum and roadside screening tool for Law enforcement identification of medical impairment in aging drivers.

  • Author(s): Hill, Linda L;
  • Rybar, Jill;
  • Stowe, James;
  • Jahns, Jana
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

An estimated one in five drivers will be over 65 by 2030. Compared with their younger counterparts, older adults are more likely to experience health and functional impairments, including cognitive dysfunction, which may interfere with their ability to drive safely. Law enforcement officers, as part of the public safety community, need help in developing the necessary skills to identify and manage these medically affected drivers.

Methods

To address this need, in partnership with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Training, Research and Education for Driving Safety (TREDS) at the University of California, San Diego, developed a certified two-hour training curriculum. To complement the training, the TREDS team also developed a roadside screening tool to assess for disorientation related to person, place, and time. The tool was developed, validated with a sample of persons with dementia compared to cognitively normal controls, and deployed in the training. A total of 2,018 police officers received instruction at 103 training sessions.

Results

At baseline, prior to training, only 26 % of officers had reported drivers to the Department of Motor Vehicles in the previous 6 months. After training, 96 % stated they were likely to use their standard reporting forms, and 90 % reported they were likely to use the roadside screening tool.

Conclusions

The certified training and tool were well received and resulted in changes to knowledge, attitudes, and intention to incorporate their new knowledge and tools into roadside screening.

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