Understanding the Automotive Pedal Usage and Foot Movement Characteristics of Older Drivers
This study was driven by the prevalence of older drivers’ overrepresentation in crashes caused by pedal application errors. Previous research has shown tasks prone to pedal errors, which include emergency braking, parking lot maneuvers and reaching out of the driver’s window. However, pedal usage characteristics of older drivers while performing on-road driving tasks are unknown. The objective of this research was to understand pedal usage characteristics of older drivers during on-road driving tasks in an instrumented vehicle. Twenty-six drivers over the age of 60 completed 10 stopping tasks as the baseline for stopping performance, a startle-braking task, two forward parking tasks and two reaching out of the vehicle tasks. Results for this instrumented vehicle study showed significantly positive correlations between stature and the percent of foot pivoting, and between shoe length and percent of foot pivoting in the baseline stopping tasks.