Better vehicle design for all

2015-08-27T08:25:27Z (GMT) by Sukru Karali Diane Gyi Neil Mansfield
There is a growing population of older people around the world and the population of older drivers is showing a parallel increase. According to 2012 figures of the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency there are more than 15 million people with a driving license aged over 60; more than 1 million of these are over 80. A questionnaire survey of older compared to younger drivers (n=903) and supplementary interviews with drivers aged ≥ 65 years (n=15) were conducted. The questionnaire survey covered: musculoskeletal symptoms, the vehicle seat, access to specific vehicle features, ingress/egress, driving performance and driving behavior. In terms of musculoskeletal symptoms, significantly more discomfort was reported by older drivers in the hips, thighs, buttocks and knees compared to younger drivers. 10.5% of respondents reported that they were dissatisfied with adjusting specific seat features, namely the head rest height, head rest distance from the head and setting the seat belt height. Females reported more difficulty than males. Older males and females (16.8%) reported more difficulties with parallel parking and driving on a foggy day than younger (12.2%) drivers (p<0.01). Compared to younger drivers, older drivers also reported being less distracted when using navigation systems (25.5% and 19.5% respectively).