Journal of Ergonomics

Journal of Ergonomics
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7556


Control of Vehicle Braking by Younger and Older Drivers: The Effect of Texture and Size Information

Zheng Bian and George J. Andersen

In the current study we examined differences in the use of visual information for the control of braking for older and younger drivers. On each trial, drivers controlled braking in a driving simulator during approach to three stop signs. Their task was to apply smooth and continuous braking and stop in front of the stop signs. The initial time-to contact, initial speed, texture on the ground and size of the stop signs were manipulated. The mean stop distance relative to the stop signs, standard deviation of stop distance, crash rate, mean time-to-contact at onset of braking, and distribution of tau-dot were analyzed. Overall we found that older drivers had larger mean stop distances and lower crash rates as compared to younger drivers. In addition, regulation of tau-dot varied as a function of size for younger but not for older drivers. These results, taken together, suggest that older drivers may use size information differently than younger drivers in braking regulation.