Methods to study driving patterns and exposure of older drivers have typically relied on surveys or driving diaries. Electronic data logging devices may offer a reliable, alternative method of measuring driving exposure, and global positioning system (GPS) technology may be able to provide further information about driving patterns.
The aim of this study was to compare a driving diary with two electronic data logging devices, one of which had GPS capability, in order to identify which method best assesses the driving exposure and habits of older drivers as well as the method most acceptable to study participants.
In this prospective cohort study we recruited 20 participants aged 70 years or more (mean 78; range 70-85) (15 men and 5 women). The participants' driving patterns were recorded for one week with an electronic data logging device with GPS (FleetPulse), followed by recording for a further week with an electronic data logging device without GPS (CarChip). During both time periods the subjects also completed a standard driving diary.
More comprehensive information, including braking and acceleration patterns, duration of driving time, time of day, and maximum speeds, was collected with the electronic devices than with the driving diary. There was excellent correlation between the driving diary data and those obtained with the CarChip (r = 0.9; p