Mirka Rauniomaa

University of Oulu, Faculty of Humanities

Oulu, Finland

Mirka Rauniomaa


Back behind the wheel: Social interactional Perspectives on Older drives and driver education.


The project provides social-interactional perspectives on the study of older drivers and driver education. The observations and findings are based on detailed analyses of video-recordings of situations in which older drivers who have a driving licence but rarely drive participate in driver education in real traffic in real time. By drawing mainly on multimodal conversation analysis, the project considers how older drivers conduct themselves, in interaction with their co-participants, in the complex, confined space of a moving car.  The project explores the following three research themes: 1) ageing and interaction, 2) older drivers' use of car technology and 3) learning at an older age. These themes involve such research questions as, for example, how older drivers use language and their body when engaging in interaction with their co-participants in a car; how do they manage the use of a car and how do they deal with potential or evident difficulties in driving; and what kind of learning processes can be seen to take place as older drivers participate in post-licence driver education. By providing qualitative, empirical findings, the project contributes to research on ageing, language and social interaction, driving and traffic safety, use of technologies and learning. It also has relevant implications for the promotion of lifelong learning as well as the design of in-car technology, cars and road systems. 

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