Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

 
 
 
 
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An Investigation of Older Driver Freeway Needs and Capabilities

Product Type

Research Report

Author

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

Date

May-97

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Older drivers
Freeways
Problem identification
Countermeasures
Crash analysis


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