Optometry & Vision Science

Skip Navigation LinksHome > August 2005 - Volume 82 - Issue 8 > Aging and Time-Sharing in Highway Driving
Optometry & Vision Science:
Original Article

Aging and Time-Sharing in Highway Driving


Collapse Box


Purpose. Proper time-sharing—visual attention allocation—between the road view ahead and other targets is an essential requirement for safe driving, along with other visual and attentional performance. Earlier on-road research has shown that neurologic problems (Alzheimer disease, brain injury) impair time-sharing during in-car tasks. This study analyzed age effects on time-sharing performance.

Methods. Thirty participants in three age groups (mean age 22, 34, and 67 years) drove an instrumented car a trip of 350 km and performed an in-car visual search task with either a motor (keying) or vocal response. The frequency and duration of glances at the in-car targets, total time eyes off the road during task, speed, and lateral displacement of the car were recorded. The participants were also tested on a battery of cognitive tasks during the midway break.

Results. The elderly used a longer total time looking at the in-car display and they traveled a longer distance with eyes away from the road. The number of long (>2 sec) glances and the car’s lateral displacement on the road were larger among the elderly than the young drivers. The difference between the older and younger participants was larger when a motor (keying) response was required. The age effects were mediated by cognitive performance (best by the Trail Making A test) rather than by vision parameters.

Conclusion. Older drivers have difficulties in time-sharing in highway driving already at the age of 65 to 70 years.

© 2005 American Academy of Optometry


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.