Affiliations: Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at TU Dortmund University (IfADo), Dortmund, Germany | Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany
Address for correspondence: Melanie Hahn, Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at TU Dortmund University (IfADo), Ardeystrasse 67, D-44139 Dortmund, Germany. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Due to demographic changes and a higher age of retirement, an increasing number of older people will maintain mobility in car traffic. At the same time the extent of technical equipment, e.g. driver assistance systems in motor vehicles, increases as well. Such assistent systems should provide additional and supportive information during driving. However, they can also result in distraction and disturb driving performance especially in older drivers. In order to investigate this, young and older participants performed a simulated driving task under a dual task condition: a visuo-motor tracking task and a visual attention task. An age-related slowing of response speed was observed in the visual attention task. Independent of age, both groups showed comparable error proportions and were able to improve their performance with time on task. In the tracking task, older participants showed a generally impaired performance compared to the young group which could not be improved with time on task. Particularly after relevant targets in the visual attention task, the tracking performance of both groups was decreased; this was more pronounced for the older group. The results may have relevant implications for the presentation of information by driver assistance systems especially for older drivers.