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Lakehead Conducts Driving Research with International Partners: Call for Local Participants

(January 18, 2010 – Thunder Bay, ON) Lakehead University and Candrive, the Canadian Driving Research Initiative for Vehicular Safety in the Elderly, are pleased to announce that researchers from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, have joined Thunder Bay and six other centres across Canada for a long-term study on older drivers. Among other key objectives, this study aims to develop a simple, objective screening tool to assist health-care professionals in identifying the characteristics of both safe and unsafe older drivers. 

Lakehead University’s Dr. Michel Bédard, Canada Research Chair in Aging & Health and lead driving safety researcher in Thunder Bay, shares his excitement in welcoming Monash University as an international site for this study.  As Dr. Bédard explains, “Aging driver issues are not unique to Canada, so collaborations like this help enhance our studies, raise awareness, and increase the study’s credibility.”  Bédard also notes the crucial component of recruiting local participants for the study.  On a national scale, approximately 50% of the required number of participants has been recruited, though Candrive still needs additional participants from the Thunder Bay area. It is critical that local drivers be included in the international study because driver experiences in small, northern areas are often unique.

Any Thunder Bay (and area) resident over the age of 70, who owns a 1996 vehicle or newer, and who drives at least four times per week is an appropriate candidate to participate.  Those interested in finding out more about the study can do so by calling 807-766-7256,
1-866-233-1133 (toll-free), or by visiting the Candrive website at


Media: Dr. Bédard is available for media interview from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Monday, January 18.  For more information or to arrange interview times, please contact Communications Officer Heather Scott at 807-343-8177,; or Director of Communications Eleanor Abaya at 807-343-8372 or

About Lakehead
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative programs and cutting-edge research. With a main campus located in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead has over 7,700 students and 2,250 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006, Research Infosource Inc. named Lakehead University Canada's Research University of the Year in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit

About Candrive:
Candrive is the brainchild of two Ottawa doctors, Dr. ShawnMarshall and Dr. Malcolm Man-Son-Hing, both of the Ottawa Hospital ResearchInstitute and the University of Ottawa. Eight years ago, they decided to address the many driving issues thataffect seniors. Reacting to what are often unfair portrayals in the media, thedoctors strongly reject age-based restrictions on driving, preferring insteadto look at how the symptoms of medical conditions can affect a driver’sphysical and cognitive abilities.  In2008, Candrive was awarded a $5.5 million Canadian Institutes of Health Research(CIHR) grant to conduct the five-year study on older drivers.  The organization comprises an internationalnetwork of diverse researchers interested in older driver issues, includingoccupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, kinesiologists,epidemiologists, and a number of medical specialists in geriatric medicine,physical medicine and rehabilitation, rheumatology and geriatricpsychiatry.  For more information onCandrive, visit

Last updated January 18, 2010

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