National Older Driver Research and Training Center

Examining issues surrounding older driver assessment, remediation, rehabilitation, and the use of alternatives to the car.

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The Impact of Highway Design on Driving Errors in a Driving Simulation Test of Older Persons

Funded by: Federal Highway Administration
Principal Investigator: Orit Shechtman

- Final Report

- Appendix A - On-Road Maneuver Locations Developed For Simulator Tests

- Appendix B - Description of Driving Simulator

- Appendix C - Simulator Acclimation Protocol

- Appendix D - Data Recording and Analysis

- Appendix E - Behavioral Data Forms and Definitions

- Results for the Turn Phase of Improved (A) vs. Unimproved (B) Intersections

This project uses a driving simulator to replicate on-road conditions identified as “problematic” for older drivers and the corresponding road conditions recommended by FHWA to make the roadways safer for the older driver. The purpose of this project is to determine the effect of roadway conditions on safe driving both in young adults (age 25-45 years) and seniors (age 65-85 years). Certain roadway conditions have been identified by the FHWA as problematic for older drivers. These roadway conditions may contribute to an increased risk of driving errors and crashes. The FHWA also proposes guidelines for highway design that may increase the safe driving ability of older drivers. However, no empirical evidence currently exists to support this theory. This study replicates the “safe” and “unsafe” road conditions in the driving simulator to investigate the effects of FHWA guidelines implementation on creating safer roadways for the older driver.