Biking and walking accidents increase after introduction of cognitive testing for older drivers

Introducing mandatory cognitive tests as part of licence renewal for those aged 75 and older has resulted in an increase in traffic injuries in Japan

male driver

New research by Japanese scientists has highlighted an increase in older, unprotected road users following the introduction of cognitive tests as part of the licence renewal process for older drivers.

The study, which was published in Accident Analysis & Prevention, highlighted that drivers aged 75 and older have been required to complete cognitive tests in Japan since 2009.  

The researchers investigated monthly injury rates among cyclists and pedestrians aged 70 and older.

They found that there was an increase in traffic injuries among female unprotected road users aged 75 and older at the time of the introduction of cognitive testing.

There was a delayed increase in traffic injuries among male unprotected road users aged 80 and older.

The study authors emphasised: “Licensing policies for older drivers should be rigorously evaluated, taking into account the safety of older unprotected road users.”

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