M. Lavallière, N. Teasdale, M. Tremblay, N. Ngân, M. Simoneau, D. Laurendeau
Lane changing is a complex driving maneuver that could challenge elderly drivers. The aim of this study was to evaluate eye glances of young and elderly active drivers when engaging lane change maneuvers. Young (21-31 years) and older (65-75 years) active drivers drove through a continuous simulated environment (STISIM, v2.0). The scenario included 16 events where the driver needed to glance at three regions of interest (ROI): 1) the rear-view mirror, 2) the left-side mirror, and 3) the left blind spot to ensure secure lane change. The lane change maneuvers were necessary to avoid a static object that was partially or completely blocking the lane or for overtaking a slower moving vehicle. Compared with younger drivers, older drivers showed a reduced frequency of glances toward the left-side mirror and the blind spot. While the older drivers showed a constant frequency of glances across the two types of driving maneuvers (i.e., avoiding a static object and overtaking a slower vehicle), the younger drivers generally showed a higher frequency of glances and this frequency increased when overtaking a slower vehicle. A better knowledge of the elderly drivers’ behavior could be beneficial in identifying at-risk behaviors and to retrain older drivers to adopt safer behaviors.
Keywords: aging; visual inspection; head movements; lane changing