Research Papers

Older Driver Gap Selection: Simulator and On-Road Driving Performance

Filename FINAL-PAPER-35.doc
Filesize 190 KB
Version 1
Date added June 10, 2012
Downloaded 3 times/fois
Category 2012 CMRSC XXII Banff
Tags Session 2A
Author/Auteur Judith L Charlton, Anna Devlin, Michelle Scully, Sjaan Koppel, Matthew Catchlove, Ashley Verdoorn


Intersections and merging feature prominently in the crash epidemiology of older drivers. This paper describes a two part study examining older driver intersection and merging maneuvers in simulator and on-road driving settings. In the simulator-based study, a sample of 216 participants completed a driving task with intersection and merge maneuvers. Gap selection performance was compared across young (18-34 yrs), middle (35-64 yrs), young-old (65-74 yrs) and older-old (75+ yrs) groups. In the on-road study, naturalistic driving methods and a set route driving task were employed to observe 10 older drivers (65-83 yrs). The study vehicle was fitted with a data acquisition unit to capture vehicle data and a camera/recording system, providing images of the driver, front seat passenger, and forward, lateral and rear roadway. Analysis of gap selection was conducted for the set route drive at one T-intersection. For naturalistic driving trips, 200 intersections were examined to explore driver looking behaviour and distraction. Results showed that older drivers made cautious decisions, particularly when making turns across traffic and merging in the simulator. Older drivers waited for all through-traffic to clear before merging. No age differences were found for right turn gap selection at intersections. Around 30% of all drivers made risky decisions for right turns across traffic at uncontrolled intersections. Observations from the set route on-road driving study lend support to the simulator evidence showing cautious decision-making with respect to gap selection but no evidence was found for risky gap selection for these maneuvers. On the on-road driving set route T-intersection, no driver opted to take a gap between cross-flow traffic. This was not due to a lack of safe gaps: on four of the 20 maneuvers, the gap was > 6 seconds, and two were > 9 seconds. Video analysis of turns in the naturalistic driving trips revealed that participants engaged in a range of secondary activities while negotiating intersections while stationary and moving. More in-depth analysis will examine the duration of time drivers looked away from the roadway while turning.

Judith L Charlton, Anna Devlin, Michelle Scully, Sjaan Koppel, Matthew Catchlove, Ashley Verdoorn