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Title: Hazard perception in older drivers

Authors: Charles T. Scialfa; Micheline C. Deschênes; Jennifer D. Ference; Jessica Boone; Mark S. Horswill; Mark Wetton

Addresses: Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada. ' Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada. ' Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada. ' Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada. ' Department of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia. ' Department of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia

Abstract: We have developed a hazard perception test (HPT) that presents short video scenes to observers and requires them to identify a traffic conflict that could lead to a collision between the 'camera' vehicle and another road user. In the present study, we compared the performance of young, experienced drivers (M = 21.30 years of age) with that of healthy, older drivers (M = 70.88 years of age). Although an average hazard perception test score based on all scenes did not produce systematic age effects, older adults were systematically slower on a composite hazard perception test score used previously with novice drivers (Scialfa et al., 2011b). Age differences in hazard perception test latencies were mediated by contrast sensitivity, but not simple reaction time. The findings suggest that a brief hazard perception test could potentially be used in the assessment of drivers across the adult lifespan.

Keywords: hazard perceptions; driving; age differences; collision risk; older drivers; elderly; hazard perception test; young drivers; healthy drivers; experienced drivers; risk assessment; driver assessment; vehicle drivers; traffic accidents; accident risks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2012.050869

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2012 Vol.1 No.3, pp.221 - 233

Available online: 06 Dec 2012 *

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