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167124-1 Report Abstract

Adaptive Equipment to Enhance Older Driver Performance: A Guidebook

Rodger J. Koppa, with contributions by John M. Holmgreen and April M. Salzmann (TTI) and Roger E. Levy (Texas Center for Disability Studies), Texas A&M University, August 2001, 57 pp. (167124-1)

As all drivers age, limitations in performance as drivers becomes more prevalent. These limitations include visual losses, diminished range of motion, various musculoskeletal disorders. Decrease in ability to timeshare functions has also been noted. Rehabilitation engineering has addressed adaptive equipment from the standpoint of definite physical disabilities and eliminating the handicap arising from such disabilities, but such technology also has application to people who may not be classified as disabled per se, but could use adaptive approaches to minimize the age-related limitations in performance. This Guidebook identifies applicable and practical equipment to improve older driver performance that arises from the automotive adaptive equipment field. Sections of the Guidebook describe adaptive equipment as part of assistive technology, and its application to any older driver. Criteria are given on choosing the right vehicle that is best designed to accommodate the older driver. For new and existing personal vehicles visibility and auditory enhancements are then described. An approach to control adaptation as applicable for relatively undisabled but possibly limited older drivers is then discussed, followed by guidelines for selecting equipment to enhance access to the vehicle. The Guidebook concludes with a brief discussion of Intelligent Transportation Systems and their implications for older drivers. Each chapter of the Guidebook contains resources for readers to obtain more product information and technical data.

Keywords: Older, Driver, Automotive, Adaptive, Disabilities

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 16.5 MB)