Conference & Journal Papers Database

< Back to search

Older drivers' perceptions and acceptance of vehicle safety technology

Davern, T, Spiteri, M, Glivar, T

Older Drivers/Users

ARSC conference 2015

Older drivers have a higher risk of injury in a crash due to increased frailty. This renders vehicle safety particularly important for older drivers. This research explored how older drivers perceive new and emerging vehicle safety technologies, and investigated the older drivers' current understanding and likely uptake of these technologies. A qualitative phase of the research consisted of eight 45-minute depth interviews, while a quantitative phase included an online survey of 1,070 older drivers. Participants were required to be aged 60+, live in Victoria, and have either purchased a vehicle in the last 12 months or intended to do so in the next 12 months. The results found that older drivers perceived vehicle safety technologies as a primary factor impacting overall vehicle safety. However, participants had very little knowledge and awareness of some of the newer safety technologies that are emerging on the market (e.g. blind spot warning, autonomous emergency breaking, lane departure warning). Older drivers were less concerned with the intricate working details of these technologies, and instead wanted to be reassured that they would help keep themselves and their passengers safe. Participants were open to adopting newer vehicle safety technology, but believed the role should be to act as a 'just in case' measure, rather than replacing driver skill. Communication messages should tap into the emotional aspects of safety, by providing reassurance and peace of mind that the technology will provide protection to the driver and passengers, rather than focus on the mechanics of how the technologies operate