Ensuring the Safety and Accessibility of Transportation for an Aging Population
As drivers and pedestrians, older adults face greater risk for serious injury and death resulting from a crash. Part of this increased risk can be attributed to increased fragility with age, but increased risk is also due in part to a mismatch between the demands of the driving/pedestrian task and the perceptual, cognitive, and motor abilities of the aging road user. This paper presents a broad overview of the approaches that have been taken to reduce the crash risk of aging road users by either changing the vehicle and roadway environment or changing the road user (i.e., strategy training/cognitive training). A summary of the work conducted by the Aging Driver and Pedestrian Safety Lab (ADAPtS Lab) investigating the efficacy of roadway modifications to reduce crash risk is presented. Further, we provide a brief review of how technologies on the horizon (i.e., autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles) might impact the safety of aging road users. These technologies will likely result in the solution to some problems while introducing new problems that warrant additional human factors studies involving participants of all ages and levels of driving skill. The promises and challenges of roadway modifications, driver education and training, and automation as solutions are compared and contrasted.
KeywordsOlder adults Driver Pedestrian Crash Mobility Independence
The ADAPtS Lab is funded by the Florida Department of Transportation, and the Department of Transportation supported Center for Accessibility and Safety for an Aging Population.
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