Using simulation to better understand the effects of aging on driver visibility
Canadian Journal on Aging
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Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2016. This proof-of-concept pilot study explored virtual simulation methodology to quantify blind-spot line-of-sight using avatars derived from an older driver database (n = 100). Siemens Jack software simulated the blind spots of eight older driver avatars (four female). The male and female avatars were scaled to be small (25th percentile) and large (75th percentile) based on the height distribution for the older driver database, and had either normal (65 degrees) or abnormal (50 degrees) neck range of motion (ROM). A virtual model of a Volkswagen Beetle was used to illustrate left and right blind-spot line-of-sight for each avatar. Average line-of-sight between blind spots was 22.3 per cent and 10.4 per cent in the normal and abnormal rotational neck ROM conditions, respectively. Older drivers with functional impairments affecting neck ROM are more likely to have problems with left blind-spot line-of-sight. Findings are discussed with regard to vehicle design considerations for older adults.