AGE AND SEX FACTORS IN THE CONTROL OF AUTOMOBILES

FORTY VOLUNTEER SUBJECTS DROVE A SPECIALLY INSTRUMENTED CAR OVER AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY COURSE AND OVER A HEAVILY TRAVELED URBAN COURSE. THE RESULTS SUGGEST THAT, IN TYPICAL ("EVERYDAY") DRIVING SITUATIONS, MEN AND WOMEN MAY HANDLE A CAR SOMEWHAT DIFFERENTLY. IN GENERAL, FEMALE SUBJECTS WERE FOUND TO MAKE MORE SPEED CHANGES, AS WELL AS COURSE AND FINE STEERING CORRECTIONS, THAN THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. WITH RESPECT TO SPEED AND LANE CHANGES, DIFFERENCES WERE MORE PRONOUNCED ON THE INTERSTATE COURSE. YOUNG FEMALES MADE SUBSTANTIALLY MORE FINE STEERING REVERSALS RELATIVE TO YOUNG MALES, BUT ONLY SLIGHTLY MORE RELATIVE TO THE OLDER MEN AND WOMEN. IN TERMS OF "SMOOTHNESS," THE RESULTS INDICATED DRIVES OF MALES WERE SOMEWHAT SMOOTHER THAN THOSE OF FEMALES, IF ONE USES NUMBERS OF SPEED CHANGES AND STEERING ADJUSTMENTS AS CRITERIA. THE DIFFERENCES OBSERVED MAY REFLECT THE DIFFERENTIAL DRIVING EXPERIENCES OF THE MALES AND FEMALES USED IN THE STUDY. OVERALL, MALES HAD MORE DRIVING EXPERIENCE (YEARS) THAN FEMALES. WITH RESPECT TO THE AGE VARIABLE, FEW DIFFERENCES WERE FOUND. IN GENERAL, OVER-30 DRIVERS MADE A FEW MORE LANE CHANGES ON THE INTERSTATE COURSE THAN DRIVERS UNDER-30. YOUNG MEN, IN CONTRAST, MADE FEWER FINE ADJUSTMENTS THAN THE OLDER GROUPS. ALTHOUGH IT IS POSSIBLE THAT EXPERIENTIAL DIFFERENCES MAY HAVE PARTIALLY ACCOUNTED FOR SOME OF THE FINDINGS, IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT THAT THIS SEEMS UNLIKELY SINCE NO SIGNIFICANT MAIN EFFECTS DUE TO AGE WERE FOUND. NO EXPLANATION OF THESE FINDINGS WILL BE OFFERED AT THIS TIME. THE TYPE OF COURSE DRIVEN WAS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL VARIABLE IN THE STUDY, PRODUCING LARGE DIFFERENCES WITH ALL SIX DEPENDENT VARIABLES.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Highway Safety Research Center
    Chapel Hill, NC  USA  27599
  • Authors:
    • SOLIDAY, S M
    • Allen, J A
  • Publication Date: 1972-2

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 14 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00223906
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 28 1972 12:00AM