USC to research hazard perception of senior drivers

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Researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast are about to begin a new study into the situation awareness and hazard perception of experienced drivers aged 60 years and over.

USC Senior Research Fellow Dr Bridie Scott-Parker said her team would use a state-of-the-art driving simulator and other methods to assess how senior motorists view possible road hazards.

“A combination of age-related driving and health factors can contribute to the road safety risks associated with ageing and driving,” Dr Scott-Parker said.

“My earlier simulator-based research found some changes in the situation awareness of senior drivers compared to middle-aged drivers, so this study will explore the nature and magnitude of these changes in this skill that is critical for safe driving.

“Situation awareness involves accurately detecting hazards in the environment and understanding these hazards. 

“Using this information, drivers can then predict the nature of how these hazards may change and impact upon the safety of not only the driver, but also other road users.”

Dr Scott-Parker said people who are aged 60 or over and drive at least two hours a month could volunteer for the research project.

She said each participant would be asked to complete a survey and have their view of a real roadway recorded on a GoPro camera during everyday driving for one week.

To volunteer, contact research assistant Clara Silvi at csilvi@usc.edu.au or 5430 1165.
 

 
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