The Impact of Highway Design on Driving Errors in an On-The-Road Test of Older Persons
Funded by: Federal Highway Administration
Principal Investigator: Sherrilene Classen
This project tests older driver performance on roadway design features identified by FHWA as potentially problematic. This study also explores the effectiveness of implementation of guidelines designed to make the roadways safer for the older driver. The FHWA proposed that these guidelines for highway design may increase the safe driving ability of older drivers, but no empirical evidence exists to support this. This project examines differences in driving performance between roadway conditions that meet and do not meet design guidelines and identifies the type of errors made by older adults. Participants engage in a telephone interview, brief clinical assessment, and an on-the-road driving assessment in an instrumented vehicle. This vehicle is outfitted with a dual brake system and a variety of sensors and cameras that allow researchers to evaluate vehicle kinematics (e.g. yaw, lateral and longitudinal acceleration), control responses of the driver (e.g., steering wheel movements and brake actuation), driver observation approaches, and head movements.