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See detail"The closer you get …" Age, attitudes and self-serving evaluations about older drivers
Ferring, Dieter UL; Tournier, Isabelle UL; Mancini, Denis Arduino UL

in European Journal of Ageing (2015), 12(3), 229-238

The present study investigates attitudes about older drivers and road safety measures with a particular focus on self-serving evaluations. Driving capacity is considered here as an indicator of awareness ... [more ▼]

The present study investigates attitudes about older drivers and road safety measures with a particular focus on self-serving evaluations. Driving capacity is considered here as an indicator of awareness of age-related changes (AARC) that may lead to a higher risk of self-stereotyping, motivating self-serving evaluations with advancing age. In order to test this notion, we used the perceived distance between ones chronological age and the age assigned to the social categories of “older driver” and “old person” as an indicator of age-group dissociation. Self-serving evaluations were expected depending on the distance between chronological and subjective age estimates. In addition to this, we tested gender and age effects on the specific evaluations. A sample of 350 participants aged 19-88 completed an online questionnaire on negative and positive stereotypes about older drivers and road safety measures to increase road safety. Results indicated a more positive than negative view of older drivers and approval with measures to increase road safety by regulating older drivers was comparatively low. Female participants tended to agree more with negative stereotypes and regulative measures than male participants. Regression analyses revealed that chronological age was associated with less agreement with negative stereotypes and measures for road safety. Age-group dissociation as indicated by the difference between one’s chronological age and the estimated age the age of an “old person” was associated with less agreement with negative stereotypes; distancing oneself from the estimated age of an old driver was linked to less agreement with regulative measures. Findings underline in general that road safety enhancing efforts should avoid highlighting chronological age as sole driving risk factor to circumvent negative stereotyping with aging and unjustified driving cessation. [less ▲]

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