aging Essay example

Words: 6952
Pages: 28


Edward J. Rinalducci, Mustapha Mouloua, and Janan Smither
Department of Psychology
University of Central Florida

Final Technical Report No. VPL-03-01
Visual Performance Laboratory
Department Of Psychology
University of Central Florida
Orlando, Fl. 32816-1390

Technical Report submitted to the Florida Department of Transportation,
Tallahassee under grant number 16-21-713 to the University of Central
Florida and CATSS: Drs. Edward J. Rinalducci, Mustapha Mouloua, and
Janan Al-Awar Smither were the Principal Investigators. The views presented in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of UCF, CATSS, or FDOT. Mr. Jack
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Driving a modern automobile in light traffic on a clear day may not necessarily overtax many drivers. However, driving in heavy traffic at high speed at night on poorly marked roads or at complex intersections can exceed many drivers’ abilities (Rinalducci et al., 1993). This difficulty can be attributed to the decline in reserve capacity with aging. In other words, complex environments produce a need for more cognitive resources than usual. Younger adults are able to use “reserve capacity” to fulfill that need, however, that capacity diminishes with age and is not available in the same way for the older adult. This explains why an older driver has more difficulty in attending to the driving task and is slower at processing information, especially when required to make complex decisions. Older drivers also demonstrate slower motor responses (Rinalducci et al., 1993). Thus, the older driver is

at a disadvantage both perceptually and cognitively in dealing with complex traffic situations. Darzentas, McDowell and Cooper (1980) reported that older drivers differed significantly in judging the length of gap acceptance as compared to younger drivers. In general, older drivers are more cautious about gap acceptance because they often exhibit slow maneuvers; gaps appear to be too short for them to execute comfortable maneuvers. Spatial