Automobile accidents among older adults may be related to difficulties in judging the speed of other vehicles. To examine this possibility, 3 groups of observers in the young adult, middle-aged, and older adult age ranges were asked to estimate the velocity of an isolated automobile traveling at 15-50 mph (24-80 kph). Across all age groups, perceived and actual velocity were related by a power function with an exponent of 1.36. Age was significantly and positively correlated with intercepts, but negatively correlated with exponents; that is, older observers showed less sensitivity to changes in actual velocity. Results bear on the issues of ontogenetic changes in accident involvement and sensitivity to motion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology