Transportation & Vehicle Safety Policy

Real-Life Driving Outcomes in Parkinson Disease

Uc, E.Y.; Rizzo, M.; Johnson, A.M.; Emerson, J.L.; Liu, D.; Mills, E.D.; Anderson, S.W.; Dawson, J.D.
2011 May 31

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence of and risk factors for driving outcomes in drivers with Parkinson disease (PD).

METHODS: In a prospective cohort study, we ascertained the time until driving cessation, a crash, or a traffic citation using self-report and state Department of Transportation records in 106 licensed, active drivers with PD and 130 controls.

RESULTS: Drivers with PD stopped driving earlier than controls, hazard ratio (95 percent confidence interval) = 7.09 (3.66-13.75), p < 0.001. Cumulative incidence of driving cessation at two years after baseline was 17.6 percent (11.5 percent -26.5 percent) for PD and 3.1 percent (1.2 percent -8.1 percent) for controls. No significant differences between groups on times to first crash or citation were detected. However, the number of observed crashes was low. Cox proportional hazards models showed that significant baseline risk factors for driving cessation in PD were older age, preference to be driven by somebody else, positive crash history, use of compensatory strategies, low driving exposure, impairments in visual perception (especially visual processing speed and attention) and cognitive abilities, parkinsonism (especially activities of daily living score and total daily dose of antiparkinsonian medications), and higher error counts on a road test. Within PD, crashes were associated with poorer postural stability and history of driving citations, and citations were associated with younger age and road errors at baseline.

CONCLUSIONS: Drivers with PD are at a higher risk of driving cessation than elderly control drivers. A battery evaluating motor and nonmotor aspects of PD, driving record, and performance can be useful in assessing future driving outcomes in PD.

Citation

Uc EY, Rizzo M, Johnson AM, et al. Real-Life Driving Outcomes in Parkinson Disease. 2011;76(22):1894-902. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31821d74fa.