Accelerator-to-Brake Pedal Transition Movements during On-Road Stopping in an Older Population
Unintended acceleration events due to pedal misapplication have been shown to occur more frequently in older vs. younger drivers. While such occurrences are well documented, the nature of these movement errors is not well-characterized in common pedal error scenarios: namely, on-road, non-emergency stopping or slowing maneuvers. It is commonly assumed that drivers move in a ballistic or “direct hit” trajectory from the accelerator to the brake pedal. However, recent simulator studies show that drivers do not always move directly between pedals, with older drivers displaying more variable foot trajectories than younger drivers. Our study investigated pedal movement trajectories in older drivers ages 67.9 ± 5.2 years (7 males, 8 females) during on-road driving in response to variable traffic light conditions. Three different sedans and a pick-up truck were utilized.