Older Drivers & Human Factors

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					 Human Factors and
Older Driver Cognition


      Delphine Cody
 Christopher Nowakowski



                          1
                 Human Factors
             Engineering Psychology
• Focus
   – Designing systems to better fit human capabilities

• Objectives
  – Identification of older driver capabilities
       • Age alone is a poor predictor of driving performance
       • Observation of driving behavior, perception & performance
   – Consideration of older driver needs in vehicle design
       • Vision - larger fonts
       • Motor Skills - bigger buttons with more spacing
   – Identification of enabling technologies
       • Ergonomics - Ingress/Egress
       • Reducing driver errors by assisting
         perception, cognition, and decision making

                                                                     2
  Task demands and age related issues in
  performance (Hakamies-Blomqvist, 1996)
Functional                Task demand                       Age-related change
 domain
                Detect objects                         Visual field shrinking
                Perceive movement                      Decrease in dynamic acuity
Perception
                Estimating speed                       Difficulty estimating speed
                                                        Glare & night vision
                Divide attention - scanning          Slowness in switching attention
 Attention
                Selective attention                  Difficulty ignoring irrelevant
     &
                                                       information
 Cognition
                                                      Result = slower decisions
                Reacting to unexpected events        Slower reaction times
                Perform complex vehicle-handling     Seriality in complex movements
Motor Skills
                 movements while scanning             Loss of fine motor skills
                Manipulating controls
                See the other vehicles and           Older driver behavior is often
Interactions     accurately predict their behavior     difficult to predict and thus
 with others    Behave in a predictable way           misinterpreted, e.g., slowing
                                                       too soon
                                                                                        3
Perception - Difficulty Estimating Speed
                           (Staplin, 1995)

  Age 75-91                60 mph
  Age 56-72
                                            108 m                    161m                  214 m
                                             4s                       6s                    8s
  Age 20-53
                                                    125 m         158 m      191 m
                                                    4.69 s        5.93s      7.18 s
                              80 m                    132 m               184 m
                               3s                     4.96 s              6.91 s

  10          50                     100                       150                       200
                   51 m         100 m                   149 m
                   3.8 s         7.5 s                  11.2 s
                                            106 m                150 m                206 m
                                             7.9 s               11.7s                15.4 s
                                           104 m                     166 m                     228 m
                                            7.8 s                    12.5s                      17 s


                           30 mph

                                                                                                   4
Attention & Cognition in Older Drivers

•   Older drivers have more difficulty than
    younger drivers in complex situations

    1. Slow down in information processing
       (Salthouse, 1988)
    2. Difficulty in identifying relevant
       information (Hasher and Zacks, 1998)
    3. Increased difficulty in switching attention
       (Cerella, Poon, and Williams, 1980)


                                                     5
Slowed Information Processing Example
      Understanding right of way (Staplin & Fisk, 1991)

•   Decision Time
     – Older drivers are slower
       than young driver (~0.5 sec)
     – Decision time are longer
       when signs and signals are
       presented together vs.
       presented individually

•   Understanding of message
     – Go: ~ 80%
     – No Go: ~ 55%
     – Similar detection rates for
       young and elderly drivers
     – Other similar studies
       (Williams et al, 1992) have
       found worse detection rates
       for older drivers


                                                          6
Difficulty identifying relevant information
           (watch for the lane change)




       Quic kTim e™ and a YUV420 c odec decompressor are needed to s ee this pic ture.




                                                                                         7
               What happened?
     The driver insisted his actions were correct!




                                          What the
What the                                  driver should
driver did                                have done




                                                      8
             Coping Strategies

• Avoidance or Reduction
   – Avoid the use of cell phones while driving
   – Avoiding driving results in a lack of mobility
   – Lack of practice results in a degradation of skills
• Adaptation of driving behavior
   – Driving slower
   – Leaving more following distance
   – Off-loading some driving workload to a passenger
• Technology?
   – Navigation systems
   – Night vision

                                                           9
   PATH Research
Instrumented Vehicle




                       10
     PATH Research
Instrumented Intersection




                            11
        Future Research Directions
         to Support Older Drivers
• Focused on cognitive issues and decision making
   – What information to provide, how to provide it, and
     when to provide it?
• Intersection decision support
   – Map out where drivers look as they approach an
     intersection comparing younger and older drivers
   – What kinds of decision support can we provide to
     drivers to reduce crashes?
• Interface design of support and warning systems
   – Collision warnings and avoidance
   – Merging and lane change support
   – ACC, lane assist, night vision and other
     technologies benefit from considering older drivers
                                                           12

				
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