A validation study comparing self-reported travel diaries and objective data obtained from in-vehicle monitoring devices in older drivers with bilateral cataract
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Background: Advances in technology have made it possible to examine real-world driving using naturalistic data obtained from in-vehicle monitoring devices. These devices overcome the weaknesses of self-report methods and can provide comprehensive insights into driving exposure, habits and practices of older drivers. Aim: The aim of this study is to compare self-reported and objectively measured driving exposure, habits and practices using a travel diary and an in-vehicle driver monitoring device in older drivers with bilateral cataract. Methods: A cross-sectional study was undertaken. Forty seven participants aged 58-89 years old (mean. =74.1; S.D. =7.73) were recruited from three eye clinics over a one year period. Data collection consisted of a cognitive test, a researcher-administered questionnaire, a travel diary and an in-vehicle monitoring device. Participants' driving exposure and patterns were recorded for one week using in-vehicle monitoring devices. They also completed a travel diary each time they drove a motor vehicle as the driver. Paired t-tests were used to examine differences/agreement between the two instruments under different driving circumstances. Results: The data from the older drivers' travel diaries significantly underestimated the number of overall trips (p < 0.001), weekend trips (p. =0.002) and trips during peak hour (p. =0.004). The travel diaries also significantly overestimated overall driving duration (p. <. 0.001) and weekend driving duration (p. =0.003), compared to the data obtained from the in-vehicle monitoring devices. No significant differences were found between instruments for kilometres travelled under any of the driving circumstances.Conclusions: The results of this study found that relying solely on self-reported travel diaries to assess driving outcomes may not be accurate, particularly for estimates of the number of trips made and duration of trips. The clear advantages of using in-vehicle monitoring devices over travel diaries to monitor driving habits and exposure among an older population are evident.
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