Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0164124

Publication Title

PLoS ONE

Volume

11

Issue

10

Pages

e0164124 (1-17)

Abstract

Older drivers are at increased risk of intersection crashes. Previous work found that older drivers execute less frequent glances for detecting potential threats at intersections than middle-aged drivers. Yet, earlier work has also shown that an active training program doubled the frequency of these glances among older drivers, suggesting that these effects are not necessarily due to age-related functional declines. In light of findings, the current study sought to explore the ability of older drivers to coordinate their head and eye movements while simultaneously steering the vehicle as well as their glance behavior at intersections. In a driving simulator, older (M = 76 yrs) and middle-aged (M = 58 yrs) drivers completed different driving tasks: (1) travelling straight on a highway while scanning for peripheral information (a visual search task) and (2) navigating intersections with areas potential hazard. The results replicate that the older drivers did not execute glances for potential threats to the sides when turning at intersections as frequently as the middle-aged drivers. Furthermore, the results demonstrate costs of performing two concurrent tasks, highway driving and visual search task on the side displays: the older drivers performed more poorly on the visual search task and needed to correct their steering positions more compared to the middle-aged counterparts. The findings are consistent with the predictions and discussed in terms of a decoupling hypothesis, providing an account for the effects of the active training program.

Original Publication Citation

Yamani, Y., Horrey, W. J., Liang, Y., & Fisher, D. L. (2016). Age-related differences in vehicle control and eye movement patterns at intersections: Older and middle-aged drivers. PLOS ONE, 11(10), e0164124. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164124

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