J. Marmeleira, J. Malarranha, O. Fernandes, M. Godinho

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Pages: 29-38

The main aim of this study was to investigate possible age effects in Useful Field of View (UFOV) and Time to Arrival (TTA). Ninety-six male and female active drivers participated in this research: 32 young drivers (18-30 years old), 32 middle-aged drivers (38-50 years old) and 32 older drivers (60-75 years old). Concerning to UFOV, results showed that older drivers had poorer results in divided attention and selective attention. Furthermore, some nonlinear variation occur, revealing a much more evident decrease in visual attention performance from the middle-aged to the older group then from the younger to the middle-aged group. In TTA analysis, older adults were less consistent then the other drivers in judging a vehicle approaching at 50 km/h. TTA estimated accuracy increased when the approaching vehicle travels at higher speeds. Although not significant, it was founded a U-shape relationship between age and response bias of TTA. We conclude that UFOV is much more sensitive to age effects then TTA and interventions should be designed to enhance UFOV between older drivers. The effectiveness of TTA paradigm for driving behavior analysis is also discussed.

Keywords: aging; driving; time-to-arrival; useful-field-of-view

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