Science-- there's something for everyone

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Safer driving for seniors

For a number of reasons, including poorer eyesight and slower reflexes, older people are a greater danger on the roads than young people. Can anything be done to remedy this situation? Researchers from Université Laval believe that a training program including a simulator can improve driving safety for senior citizens.

In their study, participants were tested on the road both before and after a coaching session with a driving simulator. During the simulator session, any errors made on the road were highlighted, along with ways of coping with those situations. Not surprisingly, the seniors improved considerably on their next road test.

Unfortunately, this kind of training session is not widely available to seniors who wish to make use of it. In many regions, nothing more than vision tests are available to older drivers. At best, seniors may take driving tests with no attached coaching sessions. Study author Normand Teasdale hopes that will change.

In the meantime, here’s a video clip from a simulator exercise. Wouldn’t you like to know what the man is saying at the end of the clip?