Drivers education for older drivers remains for 2 years, HF/E researcher finds

April 26, 2013

In seeming contrast to the notion that the elderly often have memory problems, a new study from an HF/E researcher finds driver retraining to be an effective strategy for improving the safe-driving habits of older drivers over the long term.

In his Human Factors article, "The Long-Term Effects of Active Training Strategies on Improving Older Drivers' Scanning in : A Two Year Follow-up to Romoser and Fisher (2009)," Matthew R. E. Romoser conducted a follow up study to see if participants from a 2009 study who received training retained the safe driving behaviors. In 2009, the participants that received simulator training and video reviews of their driving performance increased their likelihood of scanning while negotiating an intersection by 100%.

Healthy older drivers, 70-89 years of age, from the trained and control groups of his previous study participated in a follow-up field drive in their own vehicles. Researchers recorded secondary looks, defined as looking away from the immediate path of the vehicle while entering intersections toward regions to the side from which other vehicles could appear. The participants' road-scanning behaviors were recorded using a head-mounted .

Two years after their training, in the trained group still took secondary looks on average 73% of the time, more than one and a half times as often as pre-training levels. Control group drivers, who averaged secondary looks 41% of the time, saw no significant change in performance over the 2-year period.

"Training in the form of actively practicing target skills in a simulator provides drivers a means by which to reincorporate previously extinguished behaviors into their driving habits," says Remoser.

The study's results can guide the development of mature-driver retraining programs that might be incorporated into car insurance discount programs or future state licensing regulations.

Explore further: Older drivers can be trained to avoid car crashes

Related Stories

Older drivers can be trained to avoid car crashes

February 8, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Why are older drivers, especially those over 70, involved in crashes primarily at intersections? You may tend to attribute this to cognitive or physical decline, such as slower reaction time or poor sight. ...

Recommended for you

To reduce postoperative pain, consider sleep—and caffeine

August 18, 2017
Sleep is essential for good mental and physical health, and chronic insufficient sleep increases the risk for several chronic health problems.

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

Study shows cigarette makers shifted stance on nicotine patches, gum

August 17, 2017
The use of nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers or nasal sprays—together called "nicotine replacement therapy," or NRT—came into play in 1984 as prescription medicine, which when combined with counseling, helped ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.