Maneuvering in Intersections – What Is the Specific Challenge for Elderly Drivers?Underlying Causes for Violations and a Design for an Assistive System
Authors: Katharina Dahmen-Zimmer, Alf C. Zimmer
Abstract: Statistics of traffic accidents in relation to specific situations and maneuvers show that in intersections elderly drivers have a significantly increased risk, especially when turning left. In cooperation with Ruhr University, Bochum, an extensive analysis of real maneuvers in various intersections has been undertaken by multiple-view video observations. The age of the drivers has been determined by rating the age as observable in the faces. It has turned out that this higher risk cannot be contributed to any distinctive constructive element in road. A subsequent experiment in a driving simulator has led to similar results. It is therefore plausible to assume that increased risk is related to already known age-related deficits in cognitive functions. These are of special importance for the dynamic and situational factors when maneuvering in an intersection, in contrast to the static factors as e.g. road design. In order to assist drivers in intersections when turning left, a Left-Turn- Assistant has been developed and evaluated in a driving simulator. It turns out that with the Intersection Assistant elderly drivers improve the quality of their decisions for their maneuvers significantly and no longer show an increased risk in comparison to experienced drivers in the medium-age category.
Keywords: maneuvers in intersections, age-related differences, field and simulator studies, traffic assistant
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