Older Drivers More Hip to Hazards

BEER-SHEVA, Israel, May 26 (UPI) — Israeli researchers have good news for older drivers: The ability to detect hazards does not degrade with age.

In fact, researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva in Israel found older drivers are more sensitive to potential hazards than younger, inexperienced drivers.

The study, scheduled to be published in the July issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention, suggests older drivers focus more than young drivers on potentially risky situations, such as approaching an intersection or pedestrians on a curb.

“We found that with older drivers, in general, their hazard perception abilities remained intact,” Avinoam Borowsky said in a statement. “However, they relied heavily on signs and signals — such as signals from other vehicles — to cope with the traffic environment.”

Borowsky and colleagues requested 21 young inexperienced, 19 experienced and 16 older drivers with 37 years of experience to view six hazard perception movies while connected to an eye-tracking system to identify hazardous situations.

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