Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

« back to the list

An Investigation of Older Driver Freeway Needs and Capabilities

Product Type

Research Report


R. Knoblauch, M. Nitzburg, and R. Seifert




The objectives of the study were to: (1) identify the characteristics of older drivers that affect their ability to drive on freeways; (2) identify the characteristics of freeway driving that cause the greatest difficulties for older drivers; (3) conduct problem identification research to define the problems experienced by older drivers on freeways; and (4) recommend further research to develop guidelines for countermeasures to accommodate the needs and capabilities of older drivers. To achieve these objectives, six problem identification activities were conducted: (1) a task analysis was performed to identify the relationship between the freeway driving tasks and age-diminished capabilities; (2) a series of eight focus groups were conducted to identify older driver freeway driving problems; (3) computerized accident data analyses were done to compare the freeway accident involvement of younger and older drivers; (4) more than 900 hard-copy accident records were reviewed and coded to identify causative and descriptive factors associated with older driver freeway accidents; (5) about 1,500 members of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) from 39 States were surveyed to identify specific problems or difficulties experienced by older drivers on freeways; and (6) a 2-week travel diary study representing almost 8,000 trips by older drivers in 29 States was conducted to document route selection criterion, freeway avoidance behavior, and problems encountered. These project activities identified a wide range of different problems that older drivers have on freeways. Recommendations were made for additional research to address these problems.

Link To Research Report

Link not available.


Older drivers
Problem identification
Crash analysis

« Back to the List

HSIS Summaries

HSIS Summary Reports are two to eight pages in length and include a brief description of the issue addressed, data used, methodology applied, significant results, and practical implications.

Read More

Research Reports

A variety of research studies have been performed using data from HSIS. Many of the final reports prepared are now available electronically.

Read More

Technical Summaries

Research reports are often summarized in executive summaries, technical briefs, or other abbreviated formats. Included here are those road safety summaries that involved research using HSIS data.

Read More

Safety Analysis Tools

In addition to conducting research, HSIS resources are also used to develop products that can be used by practitioners in the analysis of safety problems.

Read More

Other Projects

HSIS data are sometimes used in research studies that result in other types of finished products, such as dissertations, theses, and conference proceedings.

Read More