Navigation Links
Mid-lane driving helps older adults stay safe

It's official: older adults are naturally inclined to drive in the middle of the road, leaving the younger generation to cut corners.

This tendency to sit mid-lane is an in-built safety mechanism that helps pensioners stay safe behind the wheel, according to researchers at the University of Leeds, UK.

The findings of the study, which are published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception and Performance, have shown how older people naturally adapt when they can no longer move with the freedom they once had. Researchers hope that the work will be used to find new ways of helping patients recover lost motor skills, for example, after a stroke.

Aging causes the body to respond more slowly and movements to become less precise. To see how this might affect performance behind the wheel, a team from the University of Leeds' Institute of Psychological Sciences compared the motor skills of healthy younger adults, aged between 18 and 40, with a group of over-60s.

Using a touch-screen laptop, participants were asked to trace wiggly lines of varying widths - slowly, quickly and at their own preferred pace. They were also asked to steer along 'virtual' winding roads when sitting in a driving simulator.

The researchers found that the older adults made allowances for their age by adopting a 'middle-of-the-road' strategy in both tests. This meant they remained well inside the wiggly lines when tracing, and stayed in the middle of the road lines when driving. Younger participants, in contrast, had a greater tendency to cut corners.

However, when study participants were asked to drive faster in the simulator and to follow narrower paths, all tended to cut corners more - regardless of their age.

"Our results suggest that this compensation strategy is a general phenomenon and not just tied to driving. It seems older people naturally adjust their movements to compensate for their reduced level of skill," said postgraduate researcher Rachel Raw, lead author of the study.

"But this compensation can only take you so far, and when conditions are difficult, perhaps because of snow or hail, or when driving at night time on poorly lit roads, older adults can struggle," she said.

"It is important to establish what strategies are adopted by older drivers in order to ensure their safety as well as the safety of other road users." said psychology researcher Dr Richard Wilkie, who supervised the work. "More generally, understanding how older people learn to adapt to a diminished level of skill has implications for our approach to rehabilitating patients with reduced movement, for instance, after a stroke."

Contact: Paula Gould
University of Leeds

Related medicine news :

1. More Young Women Driving Drunk
2. Federal Government Premium Review Ignores Real Factors Driving Healthcare Costs
3. Toyota Recalls Raise Awareness of Vehicle Safety Issues, Risks of Accidents from Driving Defective Automobiles
4. Beverage Industry Delivers On Commitment to Remove Regular Soft Drinks In Schools, Driving 88% Decline In Calories
5. Thrush Sufferers Seek Out Safe, Natural Remedies for Thrush, Driving a 237% Increase in Sales for "The 3 Day Thrush Cure"
6. Driving With Early Alzheimers May Be Ill-Advised
7. For Vast Majority, Driving and Cell Phones Dont Mix
8. ConnextionsHealth Poised to Help Organizations Leverage Revenue-Driving Opportunities Related to Health Reform
9. Driving ban for epileptics
10. New Partnership Aims to Stop Phone Use While Driving and Save Lives
11. Duty of Care - New Driving Legislation Could Put You in Court! UKContractHireandLeasing spread the word on these new regulations
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published November 13th ... in Washington D.C. revolved around the fact that proper dental care, both at-home and ... the link between periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as gum disease) and diabetes. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A team of Swiss doctors ... treat it. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on the website. Click ... analyzed the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy followed by ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The print component ... Today in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, South Florida, with a circulation of ... distributed nationally, through a vast social media strategy and across a network of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced today that they ... Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users of Dynamics SL ERP software, ... industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates their ongoing commitment to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD ... Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography ... CAAHEP accredited colleges, as only one of twelve colleges and universities in the state ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ... the Global Cell Surface Testing Market: ... report to their offering.  --> ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> adds "Global ... and "Investigation Report on China Repaglinide ... 2021 forecasts data and information to ... . --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: