S. Vardaki, M.G. Karlaftis
Research on all aspects of road safety for older drivers is becoming increasingly important as a result of both higher population age and increased crash exposure for older drivers. In this paper we investigate two important, yet largely under-researched issues regarding older drivers; first, we examine perceptions regarding road safety issues and, second, we relate perceptions to driving assessment and self-assessment. Data were collected through a questionnaire that was administered to forty active male drivers between 65 and 74 years old regarding their perceptions of road safety issues; the driving performance of the same drivers was later assessed and self-assessed through an on-road experiment along an urban freeway. Results suggest that drivers may be aware of their reduced driving skills and recognize the need to improve their performance. We note that, as expected, drivers more familiar with the freeway perform better yet experience some discomfort during exiting maneuvers. Our findings may be of particular importance in older driver education, assessment, freeway design and safety inspections.
Keywords: discomfort older drivers; road safety; driver behavior; performance assessment