An Attention Assessment for Informing Older Drivers' Crash Risks in Various Hazardous Situations

Heesun Choi, Jonathan Kasko, Jing Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mobility is a critical factor that influences older adults' independence and well-being. Older drivers may experience increased crash risks due to age-related cognitive declines. Ensuring safe driving practices among older drivers is important to maintain their mobility without sacrificing safety. Investigations for an effective assessment technology that can inform older drivers' risks associated with cognitive declines are warranted. This study aims to identify attentional deteriorations that may underlie crashes in various situations. This study employed driving simulation to examine associations between attentional functions of older drivers and crash risks in various hazardous situations. Using the Attention Network Test (ANT), a computerized assessment that measures efficiencies of the three distinct attentional functions (i.e., alerting, orienting, and executive), we examined specific attentional functions that underlie older drivers' crash risks in particular driving situations. Findings from this study revealed significant associations between executive attentional efficiency and crash risks in situations that demand a driver quickly resolving conflicts among multiple competing tasks or information. These situations include turning while a pedestrian is crossing from an opposite direction, merging, and multitasking while driving. The present findings expand our understanding of unique involvements of attentional functions in particular driving situations at an old age. Future driver assessment technologies for informing older drivers about their crash risks may aim to address more fundamental cognitive mechanisms that lead to elevated risks in particular driving situations rather than merely focusing on the situations themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-123
Number of pages12
JournalGerontologist
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 9 2019

Keywords

  • Attentional networks
  • Driving safety
  • Older drivers
  • Simulated driving

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