An International Investigation of Driver’s Licenses for Dementia Patients with Considerations of Their Social Circumstances

An International Investigation of Driver’s Licenses for Dementia Patients with Considerations of Their Social Circumstances

Satoshi Takahashi (Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, Japan) and Jinglong Wu (Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-559-9.ch044

Abstract

The brief results of an international investigation of traffic accidents among aging people based on databases published by public institutions are discussed in this chapter. The aging rate and the number of dementia patients increase with the average life expectancy when it is over 70 years. Currently, the number of traffic accidents among aging people is increasing. Policies preventing the renewal of driver’s licenses for aging people are implemented in several countries. However, communication with family and neighbors is effective in preventing aging people from being involved in traffic accidents while walking.
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Introduction

The increasing proportion of young people moving to urban areas associated with economic development brings an increase in the proportion of nuclear families. Therefore, households composed of only aging people are increasing in the depopulated areas. For aging people, an automobile is necessary to go shopping or to a hospital. However, an elderly person may display reduced abilities of judgment and cognition and, in severe cases, may exhibit dementia. As shown in Figure 1, the number of patients with dementia is expected to increase around the world. In Japan, there is a duty for an aging person over the age of 70 to take driver’s licenses, and a person who has poor judgment and cognition cannot obtain a driver’s license. The loss of a driver’s license can make a person’s life difficult.

Figure 1.

Predicted increase in the prevalence of dementia

Rapidly changing lifestyles, the policies for living conditions, and security and social infrastructure for aging people differ by country. For instance, European countries have a policy of welfare, but Asian countries have a policy of economic growth. The policies depend not only on the economic growth but also on the convenience of everyday tasks for aging people and their support systems.

In this study, the social infrastructures for aging people regarding driver’s licenses and driving in everyday life are investigated for several countries.

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Experiment

Method

Numerical data were collected from the publications and announcements of national organizations.

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