The goal of this study is to examine whether driver safety programs (DSPs) targeted toward older drivers can positively influence their behavior at intersections of rural expressways. Thirty-five older drivers participated in this study; 18 had attended a DSP, and 17 had not attended one. All participants were asked to perform three driving maneuvers (going straight across, making a left turn, and making a right turn) from two-lane minor roads. Drivers' head movements and brake behavior immediately before entering these intersections were examined. The results showed that those drivers who had attended a DSP performed better to head movements and braking. DSP drivers stopped significantly earlier in response to upcoming intersections and were more likely to come to a complete stop, and they had significantly more head movements checking for traffic conflicts. These findings suggest that DSPs may encourage drivers to be more aware and less risky than drivers who do not attend a DSP. However, the results need to be considered because Iowa (the study location) does not give insurance reduction incentives for taking a DSP class, and therefore those who chose to attend may actually be safer drivers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering