The Impact of Navigation Systems on the Perception Time of Young and Older Drivers 2006-01-0577
Electronic navigational systems allow drivers to receive travel directions while driving, rather than preplanning a route. This additional attentional load on drivers might prove to be hazardous -- particularly for older adults who have greater difficulties multitasking and switching their attention between different parts of the visual field. A driving simulator was used to evaluate the perception time to critical events in the presence and absence of a navigation system with young (n=18, age=18.8years SD= 0.7years) and older drivers (n=15, age=73.1years, SD=6.1years). The results of this study indicated that though older drivers were slower to react to critical events, and both groups were faster to react to pedestrian incursions than sudden light changes, messages from the travel system did not interfere significantly with perception reaction time in either group.