This paper tests the hypothesis that older drivers, as compared to younger drivers, organize their car-controlling movements in a more serial way to reduce the momentary mental workload produced by complex traffic situations. 42 drivers aged 60-77 (mean 67.5) and 36 drivers aged 26-49 (mean 36.8) drove a measurement-instrumented car around a 7.4 km route in normal traffic. The use of car controls (e.g., clutch or brake) was registered by sensors connected to a computer. In the most complex parts of the route (i.e., during which 3 or more controls were in use simultaneously), the older drivers tended to use 3 controls rather than 4 or more, whereas the younger group had a greater percentage of 4 or more controls. This percentage was positively related to speed. However, although older drivers drove more slowly in general, in pairs matched for speed, they still drove in a less parallel manner. Irrespective of age, parallel use of controls was positively related to skill level as indicated by the amount of driving experience. The authors conclude that the shift toward more serial operation of controls possibly represents a compensatory mechanism allowing older drivers to maintain their level of performance.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Taylor & Francis

    4 Park Square, Milton Park
    Abingdon,   United Kingdom  OX14 4RN
  • Authors:
    • Mynttinen, S
    • Backman, M
    • Mikkonen, V
  • Publication Date: 1999-9


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00792517
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 1 2000 12:00AM