Research Papers

Effects of age and cognitive workload on lane choice and lane changing behavior

Filename Lavalliere.pdf
Filesize 339 KB
Version 1
Date added June 6, 2010
Downloaded 3 times/fois
Category 2010 CMRSC XX Niagara
Tags Dr. Charles H. Miller Award Winner, Session 3A
Author/Auteur Martin Lavallière, Birsen Donmez, Bryan Reimer, Bruce Mehler, Kameron Klauber, Jarrod Orszulak, Joseph F. Coughlin, Normand Teasdale
Award/Prix Dr. Charles H. Miller


Bob Baird and Martin Lavallière

Bob Baird and Martin Lavallière

A growing body of literature suggests that cognitive distraction increases the likelihood of being involved in an automobile crash and impacts traffic flow. The physical and cognitive changes associated with advancing age are known to negatively impact driving performance. Driving behaviors on the other hand often indicate better judgment and reduced risk taking with advancing age. In this paper, we assess data from an on-road experiment to determine the effects of age and cognitive distractions on lane choice and lane changing behavior. Methods: Three age groups (20’s: n=36, 40’s: n=35, and 60’s: n=35) were monitored in an instrumented vehicle. During a portion of the drive, a delayed auditory recall task (“n-back”) was presented to increase demands on drivers’ attention and working memory. The task required participants to attend to a series of aurally presented single digit numbers. Participants were asked to verbally respond with the digit presented “n” positions previously. There were three levels of demand: 0-, 1-, and 2-back. Video records were reviewed to identify lane changes and time spent in the leftmost lane. Results: Odds of making a lane change was assessed through an ordered logit model. Results revealed that the 40’s age group had a 115% times higher likelihood of exhibiting lane changes than the 60’s age group. In addition, drivers in the 20 and 40 year old groups travelled for a longer period in the leftmost lane compared to the 60 year olds (35.8% and 33.5% vs. 14.2%, respectively). Regardless of age, performing a cognitive task decreased the odds of lane changing (1.59, 1.57, and 1.95 times for baseline vs. 0-, 1- and 2- back task, respectively). Conclusion: Older adults adopt a more conservative driving style by not traveling in the left most lane as much as the younger groups and being less likely to change lanes than the 40 year olds. Cognitive workload reduced the likelihood of lane changes for all age groups. This suggests that drivers of all ages tend to regulate their behavior in a risk reducing direction in response to the added demand of the cognitive distractions.

Martin Lavallière, Birsen Donmez, Bryan Reimer, Bruce Mehler, Kameron Klauber, Jarrod Orszulak, Joseph F. Coughlin, Normand Teasdale