Traffic-Entry Behavior and Crash Risk for Older Drivers with Impairment of Selective Attention

This article reports on research that tested the hypothesis that older drivers with declines in selective attention would make more unsafe traffic-entry judgments than would older drivers with normal attention. The authors tested this hypothesis using an instrumented vehicle and a LIDAR speed and range detector. Participants were 20 older drivers: 10 drivers (median age, 72.0 years) had impairments of selective attention, as measured with the Visual Attention Analyzer; and 10 drivers (median age, 71.2 years) were nonimpaired. Drivers pressed a button to indicate the last possible moment they could safely cross a road in front of an oncoming vehicle. The speed and distance of the oncoming vehicles were measured and time-to-contact was calculated. Each driver's time-to-cross the roadway was independently measured. Attention-impaired drivers showed shorter time-to-contact values (5.60 seconds versus 6.86 seconds), took longer to cross the roadway (5.41 seconds versus 4.84 seconds), and had shorter safety cushions. The authors used Monte Carlo simulation to show that these performance differences increased the crash risk of the impaired group by up to 17.9 times that of the nonimpaired group.

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  • Authors:
    • Pietras, Thomas A
    • Shi, Qian
    • Lee, John D
    • Rizzo, Matthew
  • Publication Date: 2006-6


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01052089
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 28 2007 11:02AM