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Making Vehicles Safer for Older Drivers. Michael Perel Office of Applied Vehicle Safety Research National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 19%. 20%. 61%. 65+. 55-64. younger. Age of New Passenger Vehicle Buyers. 65+. 55-64. Source: 2002 Wards Automotive News.

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making vehicles safer for older drivers

Making Vehicles Safer for Older Drivers

Michael Perel

Office of Applied Vehicle Safety Research

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

age of new passenger vehicle buyers

19%

20%

61%

65+

55-64

younger

Age of New Passenger Vehicle Buyers

65+

55-64

Source: 2002 Wards Automotive News

slide3

Older Driver Limitations

  • Slower response time
  • Problems with glare and vision
  • Restricted head/neck movement
  • Can’t focus close
  • Difficulty attending to multiple tasks
  • More variable in performance
older drivers need to pay attention to car design
Older Drivers Need to Pay Attention to Car Design
  • Seat belt comfort and ease of using
  • Visibility through windows
  • Mirror optics
  • Minimizing dashboard clutter and confusion
  • Usability of new technologies
  • Good headlighting (visibility and glare)
glare complaints sent to nhtsa
Glare Complaints Sent to NHTSA
  • Causes annoyance and road rage
  • Reduces vision
  • Increases difficulty of using mirrors
  • Distracts drivers
  • Limits night driving
  • It hurts the eyes
slide7

Halogen

High Intensity Discharge vs Halogen

  • Color
  • Blue/white vs. Yellow
  • HorizontalIntensity
  • Wide spread vs. limited spread

HID

slide8

Hypotheses/Findings

  • HID Blue color: Novelty attracts attention
    • More attracted to brighter lights
  • HID Blue color: Eyes more sensitive
    • Affects discomfort not disability glare
  • Smaller lamps: Brighter luminance
    • Not a significant effect compared to intensity
slide9

Hypotheses/Findings

  • Wider Beam Pattern: Drivers exposed to glare longer during meeting scenarios
    • Intensity influences object detection
  • Does driver exposure to intensity from different beam patterns affect their glare recovery time?
    • Under investigation
  • How good is headlamp aim?
    • Under investigation
slide10

Positives

-Allows longer object detection distances

-Objects visible next to glare sources

Infra-Red Night Vision Enhancement Systems

Negatives

  • May be difficult for older drivers to shift attention between road and display while driving
  • May be difficult to recognize thermal images
slide11

Object Detection While Driving and Using an Infrared Night Vision Enhancement System (NVES)

  • 14 Subjects (20-50, 66-83) asked to respond when they detected and recognized targets
    • heated traffic cones
    • pedestrians
  • Subjects also asked to detect speed limit signs and stay within 5 mph of speed
preliminary findings
Preliminary Findings
  • For Older Drivers without oncoming glare, pedestrian detection distance increased but not percent of pedestrians detected
  • For detecting pedestrians in the presence of oncoming glare, NVES did not help Older Drivers
  • Older Drivers used NVES less often than younger drivers
the effects of driver side mirror curvature on gap acceptance and vehicle detection
The Effects of Driver-Side Mirror Curvature on Gap Acceptance and Vehicle Detection
  • NHTSA requires flat optics
  • Field of view limited--requires head turns or time sharing with inside mirror
  • Curved mirrors increase field of view but minify image and require visual accommodation
slide15

Mirror Test Protocol

Measured last safe gap for lane change

Measured driver detection of location of approaching vehicle

slide16

Smaller gaps for curved mirrors; no age effect

  • Improved detection of adjacent vehicle with non-planar mirrors
  • Older drivers made ‘better safe than sorry’ mistakes
implications
Implications
  • Misjudging gap may be overcome by slowing of approaching vehicle
  • Detection errors for nearby vehicles have immediate crash consequences
  • Convex mirrors, such as aspherics, may be helpful to older drivers
advanced vehicle crash warning technologies
Advanced Vehicle Crash Warning Technologies
  • Forward Crash Warning
  • Lane Change/Blind Spot Warning
  • Rear Object Detection Systems
  • Road Departure Warning
  • Intersection Collision Warning
advanced information and telematics systems
Advanced Information and Telematics Systems
  • Navigation
  • Email, Internet
  • Audio/Video entertainment
  • Head Up Displays
  • Voice controlled information
time to complete destination entry while driving on test track

160

140

Old

120

Young

100

80

Trial Time Average (sec)

60

40

20

0

Remote

Control

Knob

Cell

Radio

Voice

Scrolling

Menu

Phone

Tune

(10)

(AM/FM)

Device

Time to Complete Destination Entry While Driving on Test Track
slide22

Effects on lane keeping of entering destination in different types of navigation system designs

Average Number of Lane Exceedences Per Trial by Device

1

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0

Remote

Control

Knob

Scrollling

Menu

Voice

Cell Phone

Radio Tune

(10)

(AM/FM)

Device

enhancing senior driver safety with compatible vehicle design
Enhancing senior driver safety with compatible vehicle design
  • Design features compatible with capabilities of average, not superstar seniors
  • Focus on aiding cognitive limitations, in addition to physical limitations
  • Keep headlamps aimed and clean
  • Test drive vehicle before buying
  • Learn from early adopters of new technologies
  • Make system reliable and understandable to drivers.
slide25

Technical Reports available on www.nhtsa.dot.gov

Or email:

mike.perel@nhtsa.dot.gov