Brenda Vrkljan

Phone: (905) 525-9140 ext: 27817
Fax: (905) 521-0069
Office: Rm. 450, IAHS


While working as an occupational therapist at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance in Chatham, ON, Brenda learned just how important driving an automobile was to her patients, particularly her older clients. The lack of research evidence to address the issue of driving for older Canadians propelled her to completed her doctorate in Rehabilitation Science.

Brenda is the lead investigator of the McMaster-Candrive team, a Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)-funded initiative ( Her passion for promoting safe and functional mobility across the lifespan is the theme that “drives” her research. The Candrive longitudinal study involves six other Canadian centres as well as a site in Melbourne, Australia. She is also co-principal investigator of another project involving the development of an in-vehicle camera system for tracking the actual driving performance of older drivers, an examination of premature infants and car seat safety ( and is co-investigator on the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging ( The principles of ageing-in-place and universal design inform her current and future program of research.

Research Expertise

Brenda's area of research is in driver rehabilitation and community mobility across the lifespan as well as technology use and participation in older adulthood.

Graduate Students

Dr. Vrkljan is taking graduate students.

Lab/Research Institute

AUTO21 – Network for the Centres for Excellence.

Canadian Driving Research Initiative for Vehicular Safety in the Elderly (Candrive).

Recent Publications

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Gish J, Vrkljan B, Grenier A, Van Miltenburg B. (2016) Driving with advanced vehicle technology: A qualitative investigation of older drivers’ perceptions and motivations for use. Accid Anal Prev, Aug 4. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2016.06.027. [Epub ahead of print].

Gish J, Vrkljan B. (2016). Aging embodiment and the somatic work of getting into and out of a car. J Aging Stud, 36(1), 33-46.

Kajaks T, Vrkljan BH, MacDermid J, Godwin A. (2016). Using simulation to better understand the effects of aging on driver visibility. Can J Aging, 35(S1), 110-116.

Gagnon S, Marshall S, Kadulina Y, Stinchcombe A, Bédard M, Gélinas I, Man-Son-Hing M, Mazer B, Naglie G, Porter MM, Rapoport M, Tuokko H, Vrkljan B. (2016). CIHR Candrive cohort comparison with Canadian household population holding valid driver's licenses. Can J Aging, 35(S1), 99-109.

Vrkljan BH, Crizzle AM, Villeneuve S, Porter M, Koppel S, Mazer BL, Naglie G, Bédard M, Tuokko HA, Gélinas I, Marshall SC, Rapoport MJ. (2016). Do demographics and functional abilities influence the vehicle type driven by older Canadians? Can J Aging, 35(S1), 92-98.

Rapoport M, Sukhawathanakul P, Naglie G, Tuokko H, Myers A, Crizzle A, Korner-Bitensky N, Vrkljan B, Bédard M, Porter MM, Mazer B, Gélinas I, Man-Son-Hing M.(2016). Cognitive performance, driving behaviour, and attitudes over time in older adults. Can J Aging, 35(S1), 81-91.

Mazer B, Laliberte M, Hunt M, Lemoignan J, Gelinas I, Vrkljan B, Naglie G, & Marshall S. (2016). Ethics of clinical decision-making for older drivers: Reporting health-related driving risk. Can J Aging, 35(S1), 69-80.

Tuokko H, Sukhawathanakul P, Walzak L, Jouk A, Myers A, Marshall S, Naglie G, Rapoport M, Vrkljan B, Porter M,Man-Son-Hing M, Mazer B, Korner-Bitensky N, Gélinas I, Bédard M; Candrive II Research Team. (2016). Attitudes: Mediators of the relation between health and driving in older adults. Can J Aging, 35(S1), 44-58.

Jouk A, Sukhawathanakul P, Tuokko H, Myers A, Naglie G, Vrkljan B, Porter MM, Rapoport M, Marshall S, Mazer B, Man-Son-Hing M, Korner-Bitensky N, Gelinas I, Bedard M. (2016). Psychosocial constructs as possible moderators of self-reported driving restrictions. Can J Aging, 35(S1), 32-43.

Koppel S, Charlton JL, Langford J, Di Stefano M, MacDonald W, Vlahodimitrakou Z, Mazer BL, Gelinas I, Vrkljan B, Eliasz K, Myers A,Tuokko HA, Marshall SC.(2016). Driving task: how older drivers' on-road driving performance relates to abilities, perceptions, and restrictions. Can J Aging, 35(S1), 15-31.

Vrkljan BH, Myers AM, Blanchard RA, Crizzle AM, Marshall S. (2015). Practices used by occupational therapists and others in driving assessment centers for determining fitness-to-drive: A case-based approach. Phys Occup Ther Geriatr, 33(2), 163-174.

Porter MM, Smith GA, Cull AW, Myers AM, Bédard M, Gélinas I, Mazer BL, Marshall SC, Naglie G, Rapoport MJ, Tuokko HA, Vrkljan BH. (2015). Older driver estimates of driving exposure compared to in-vehicle data in the Candrive II study. Traffic Inj Prev, 16(1): 24-27.

General Information

Mailing Address:

School of Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
Institute of Applied Health Sciences,
Room 403, 1400 Main St. W. Hamilton, ON L8S 1C7


(905) 525-9140 Ext: 22867


(905) 524-0069



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