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Study Generates Concern for Older Drivers

Study finds older motorists suffering from memory problems are more likely to have declining skills behind the wheel.

Studies have shown as we get older our driving abilities decline.

And if you have memory issues, it can be even worse.

Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital's Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center embarked on a study to determine how well a road test evaluation reflects how well someone is driving in the real world.

Dr. Brian Ott, a co-investigator in the study that was funded by the National Institutes of Health, said they enrolled more than 100 participants, some healthy and some with mild cognitive impairment.

Co-investigator Dr. Jennifer Davis said they had to pass a standardized road test, much like the one teenagers take to get their driver's license.

Most in the study passed the test. Then, the participants had four cameras mounted in their car for more than a two-week period.

"The four-mounted cameras in the car definitely gave us a better picture because the road test was only 45 minutes, and then we were able to put the cameras in the cars for two weeks of their regular routine, and so we really were able to see what they were doing on a daily basis, where they were traveling and what kinds of behaviors they might be doing when they're most comfortable," Davis said.

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