OLDER PEDESTRIAN SAFETY: The role of perceptual and cognitive factors and the ability to compensate for age-related changes.
Older pedestrians are over-involved in serious injury and fatal crashes compared to younger adults. This may be due, in part, to diminished perceptual and cognitive skills which act to reduce the older pedestrians? ability to sense danger and take measures to avoid hazards. Two experimental studies were undertaken to investigate decision-making processes involved in gap selection and the ability to process vehicle distance and speed information. The findings support the notion that age-related limited cognitive capacity reduces the ability to simultaneously integrate vehicle distance and speed information and interferes with sound judgements of when to cross safely. The implications for engineering, behavioural and training countermeasures are discussed.