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MIRA Trainee Talks: Ruheena Sangrar


Published: October 30, 2018 | B​y Alexis Bullock

Ruheena Sangrar, a PhD Candidate in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences at McMaster University (supervised by Dr. Brenda Vrkljan), delivered a talk on her work entitled:

“Improving older drivers’ confidence and behind-the-wheel skills”

  • Driving is the primary means of transportation for older adults in North America. However, due to changes in physical, cognitive and sensory abilities, this population is at the highest risk of being involved in at-fault collisions. Even if they do change when and where they drive, we see their participation in community activities go down. Voluntary or involuntary loss of the ability to drive can lead to social isolation, depression and even having to move from their preferred living situation.

  • Currently, there are few publicly available resources to help older drivers maintain (or even improve) their driving abilities. The only resources that is easily accessible is classroom-based education. However, research shows the most effective interventions that improve driving performance are those that are tailored to the needs of the driver, and provide them with feedback on their driving behaviour.

  • The objective of Ruheena’s thesis is to support the development of an evidence- and user-informed retraining intervention for older drivers. With driving instructors, older drivers and occupational therapists as part of her research team, they will be running three studies to inform the design of a multi-component driver re-training program aimed at keeping older adults safe behind-the-wheel for as long as possible.

This blog post was first published by the MIRA Trainee Network. Read the original article.​


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