Communication of intent among drivers: does it deteriorate with age?
Authors: Evangelia Portouli, Dimitris Nathanael, Nicolas Marmaras
Abstract: Interactions among drivers of neighbouring vehicles, aiming to communicate intent and agree on a safe motion plan, are a crucial component of driving activity. Empirical evidence from on-road, video-assisted observations and analysis of parallel commentaries by twenty-two experienced drivers show that the performance of older drivers (mean age 72.8 years) as regards interactions relevant to lane changes was similar to that of younger drivers (mean age 36.3 years). No difference was found in trip duration, number of lane changes, frequency and type of cues signifying intent to change lane and frequency of perceiving such cues. This may be an indication that the interpretation of traffic events, once acquired, does not loose in significance with age. Still, older drivers reacted less often after a cue signifying lane change intent although there was no difference in the perception of cues. Older drivers may adopt a more defensive driving strategy so that they do not need to adjust their driving, having found ways to compensate for their possible performance deterioration due to age.
Keywords: older drivers, intent anticipation, interactions
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