The effects of cognitively demanding dual-task driving condition on elderly people’s driving performance; Real driving monitoring

Background: Using in-vehicle audio technologies such as audio systems and voice messages is regarded as a common secondary task. Such tasks, known as the sources of non-visual distraction, affect the driving performance. Given the elderly drivers’ cognitive limitations, driving can be even more challenging to drivers. The current study examined how listening to economic news, as a cognitively demanding secondary task, affects elderly subjects’ driving performance and whether their comprehension accuracy is associated with these effects. Methods: Participants of the study (N = 22) drove in a real condition with and without listening to economic news. Measurements included driving performance (speed control, forward crash risk, and lateral lane position) and task performance (comprehension accuracy). Results: The mean driving speed, duration of driving in unsafe zones and numbers of overtaking decreased significantly when drivers were engaged in the dual-task condition. Moreover, the cognitive secondary task led to a higher speed variability. The authors' results demonstrate that there was not a significant relationship between the lane changes and the activity of listening to economic news. However, a meaningful difference was observed between general comprehension and deep comprehension on the one hand and driving performance on the other. Another aspect of their study concerning the drivers’ ages and their comprehension revealed a significant relationship between age above 75 and comprehension level. Drivers aging 75 and older showed a lower level of deep comprehension. Conclusion: The authors' study demonstrates that elderly drivers compensated driving performance with safety margin adoption while they were cognitively engaged. In this condition, however, maintaining speed proved more demanding for drivers aging 75 and older.


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  • Accession Number: 01611261
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 18 2016 4:42PM