Older car drivers in Norway and Sweden: studies of accident involvement, visual search behaviour, attention and hazard perception

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Selina Mårdh
Fridulv Sagberg

Hazardous situations for older drivers and older drivers' accident involvement and visual behaviour in complex traffic situations have been studied in the reported research project. Three main methods have been used: 1) a thorough accident analysis of police reported accidents in Norway, 2) a literature study on existing research on older drivers' behaviour (i.e. cognitive aspects on car driving) and accident involvement, and 3) experimental studies comprising visual and perception tests accomplished in Norway and Sweden and a field study on the road, accomplished in Sweden. In the experimental study and in the field study it was found significantly more individual differences among the older than among the younger drivers in the samples from Norway and Sweden. From in depth analyses of fatal crashes in Norway during the years 2005-2007 it was found that tiredness was the most often suspected cause of the accident among the group aged 35-55 years (28 %) and the second most often suspected cause in the group aged 75+ (19 %). Illness could be the cause of the accident twice as often among the older drivers (28 %) as in the younger control group (14 %). Concerning suicide, the situation could be the reverse with more deliberate actions among the younger (11 %) compared to the older drivers (6 %)

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