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Seasonal and Weather Effects on Older Drivers’ Trip Distances

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2016

Glenys A. Smith
Health, Leisure and Human Performance Research Institute, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba
Michelle M. Porter*
Health, Leisure and Human Performance Research Institute, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba
Andrew W. Cull
Health, Leisure and Human Performance Research Institute, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba
Barbara L. Mazer
School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, and Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal; Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital
Anita M. Myers
School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo
Gary Naglie
Department of Medicine and Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Health Sciences; Department of Research, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network; Department of Medicine and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
Michel Bédard
Centre for Research on Safe Driving and Department of Health Sciences, Lakehead University
Holly A. Tuokko
Centre on Aging and Department of Psychology, University of Victoria
Brenda H. Vrkljan
Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University
Isabelle Gélinas
School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, and Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal; Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital
Shawn C. Marshall
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa
Mark J. Rapoport
Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à: / Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to: Michelle M. Porter, Ph.D. Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management University of Manitoba Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (


The purpose of this study was to determine if season or weather affected the objectively measured trip distances of older drivers (≥ 70 years; n = 279) at seven Canadian sites. During winter, for all trips taken, trip distance was 7 per cent shorter when controlling for site and whether the trip occurred during the day. In addition, for trips taken within city limits, trip distance was 1 per cent shorter during winter and 5 per cent longer during rain when compared to no precipitation when controlling for weather (or season respectively), time of day, and site. At night, trip distance was about 30 per cent longer when controlling for season and site (and weather), contrary to expectations. Together, these results suggest that older Canadian drivers alter their trip distances based on season, weather conditions, and time of day, although not always in the expected direction.


Le but de cette étude a été de déterminer si la saison ou la météo, mesurées objectivement, ont affecté les distances des trajets parcourus par les conducteurs âgés (≥ 70 ans, n = 279) à travers sept sites canadiens. Pendant l’hiver, pour tous les voyages effectués, la distance était de 7 pour cent plus court, lors du contrôle pour le site et si le voyage a eu lieu pendant la journée. En outre, pour les déplacements effectués dans les limites de la ville, la distance était de 1 pour cent plus courte en hiver et 5 pour cent plus en cas de pluie, par rapport à aucune précipitation, tout en contrôlant pour le temps (ou la saison, respectivement), le moment de la journée, et le site. La nuit, contrairement à toute attente, la distance des voyages était d’environ 30 pour cent plus, lors de la commande pour la saison et le site (et la météo). Pris ensemble, ces résultats suggèrent que les conducteurs canadiens âgés modifient leurs distances de déplacement basé sur la saison, les conditions météorologiques, et l’heure de la journée, mais pas toujours dans le sens attendu.

Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2016 

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