Perceptual Assessment Improvement of the Older Driver

Period of Performance: 09/01/1994 - 08/31/1995


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Visual Awareness, Inc.
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (Adapted from Applicant's Abstract): Many older Americans suffer a loss of independence due to injury from automobile accidents. Recently methods have been discovered for identifying which older individuals are at risk for accidents, and for providing interventions to prevent, delay, or reverse the perceptual/cognitive deficits which underlie this vehicle accident proneness. The aim of the proposed research is to further refine the effectiveness of a new instrument designed both to measure the perceptual/cognitive functions useful field of view (UFOV) related to accident involvement and to enhance/maintain these underlying sensory/cognitive functions. More specifically, the proposed research will examine, in an older group of participants, the effects of UFOV training on three measures of driving performance: a) accident frequency, b) driving simulator performance, and c) on-the-road driving performance. Such an instrument would be applicable for identifying at-risk drivers with Department of Motor Vehicles, Insurance Companies, etc. and holds the potential to remediate those drivers found to be at risk. In addition, the relationship between specific eye pathologies (e.g., glaucoma) and UFOV performance will be examined. Such information will aid in the identification of those individuals most likely to benefit from training.