DOI

10.17077/drivingassessment.1674

Location

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Date

25-6-2019

Session

Session 2 – Vulnerable Road Users

Abstract

This study tackles the need to understand how driver behavior deteriorates in advancing age, with the direct goal of improving real-world assessments of age-related cognitive dysfunction and safety in older drivers. Older drivers are at-risk for cognitive dysfunction, which may lead to dementia and elevates the risk of errors that may lead to crashes. Prior research on older drivers is critically limited by studying behavior in laboratory and controlled settings. To advance the field and overcome these limitations, we combine sensor-based technologies for continuous, real-world monitoring of driver behavior with comprehensive assessments of older drivers’ cognitive function. We assess patterns of vehicle control across each driver’s personal profile of cognitive function and link age-related cognitive dysfunction to changes in safety-relevant vehicle control. We find that age-related cognitive dysfunction effects braking and accelerating behaviors, but not steering behaviors, across wide-spread driving environments. Older drivers with worse cognitive function drove less yet did not reduce exposure to specific environments that may carry greater risk. Exposure patterns suggest potential maladaptive compensatory behavioral tradeoffs that lessen older driver mobility without sufficiently mitigating safety risks. Results demonstrate that older driver behavior is highly context dependent, suggesting specific targets for interventions to improve safety while preserving mobility and quality of life, and underscore the value of using the vehicle for sensing and monitoring driver functional capacity and subsequent risk for age-related cognitive dysfunction.

Rights

Copyright © 2019 the author(s)

DC Citation

Proceedings of the Tenth International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design, 24-27 June 2019, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Iowa City, IA: Public Policy Center, of Iowa, 2019: 50-56.

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Real-Time Effects of Age-Related Cognitive Dysfunction on Driver Vehicle Control

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

This study tackles the need to understand how driver behavior deteriorates in advancing age, with the direct goal of improving real-world assessments of age-related cognitive dysfunction and safety in older drivers. Older drivers are at-risk for cognitive dysfunction, which may lead to dementia and elevates the risk of errors that may lead to crashes. Prior research on older drivers is critically limited by studying behavior in laboratory and controlled settings. To advance the field and overcome these limitations, we combine sensor-based technologies for continuous, real-world monitoring of driver behavior with comprehensive assessments of older drivers’ cognitive function. We assess patterns of vehicle control across each driver’s personal profile of cognitive function and link age-related cognitive dysfunction to changes in safety-relevant vehicle control. We find that age-related cognitive dysfunction effects braking and accelerating behaviors, but not steering behaviors, across wide-spread driving environments. Older drivers with worse cognitive function drove less yet did not reduce exposure to specific environments that may carry greater risk. Exposure patterns suggest potential maladaptive compensatory behavioral tradeoffs that lessen older driver mobility without sufficiently mitigating safety risks. Results demonstrate that older driver behavior is highly context dependent, suggesting specific targets for interventions to improve safety while preserving mobility and quality of life, and underscore the value of using the vehicle for sensing and monitoring driver functional capacity and subsequent risk for age-related cognitive dysfunction.