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Older Driver
Safety and Design Technical Services Team

Photo of the cover of the Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians.

Caption: Photo of the cover of the Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians.

The proportion of the driving population over 65 is growing significantly. Older motorists can be expected to have problems driving given the known changes in their perceptual, cognitive, and psychomotor performances, presenting many challenges to transportation engineers, who must ensure system safety while increasing operational efficiency. The professionals of the Resource Center Safety and Design Team (TST) are available to help uncover solutions that will make a significant positive impact on the Older Driver population.

The changing demographics in the driving population present a challenge. As the FHWA’s Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians notes, “…the overall quality of life for older persons, depends to an extraordinary degree on remaining independent. Independence requires mobility, and in our society the overwhelming choice of mobility options is the personal automobile.” For this reason, technology and design techniques that address impaired vision, slowed reaction times, difficulty dealing with traffic conflicts, etc., must be put in place to keep all drivers and pedestrians safe.

Transportation professionals seeking training or assistance with Older Driver and pedestrian issues may contact the Resource Center Safety and Design TST.

Workshops, Seminars and Courses

Older Driver and Pedestrian Handbook Workshop
1-day workshop
This workshop was developed in conjunction with the Older Driver Highway Design Handbook. The goals of this workshop are to illustrate why the Handbook is needed by outlining and depicting the changes that occur with aging and how they impact highway design; to highlight the relationship between the Handbook and existing design manuals; and to demonstrate application of the guidelines in the Handbook.

You will learn:
• Current demographics relating to older drivers and the significance of this major change and how it impacts our current understanding of the “design driver.”
• Age-related capabilities that tend to diminish as we age:
o Seven Visual Capabilities - Visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, visual field, attention window, sensitivity to glare, dark adaptation, and motion sensitivity.
o Four Cognitive Capabilities - selective attention, divided attention, perception-reaction time, and working memory.
o Three Physical Capabilities –Strength, flexibility and range of motion of upper limbs (arm and shoulder), lower limbs (leg, knee, and foot) and head/neck and upper torso.
• Handbook organization and content and how to use the handbook recommendations for:
o At-grade intersections,
o Design and operation of interchanges,
o Horizontal and vertical alignment and passing zones,
o Construction work zones,
o Passive highway-rail grade crossings.
• Implementation Example – work through an example, which illustrates the use of Handbook in the development of real-world solutions.
• Implementation Exercise – participants will develop recommendations for the proposed redevelopment of a former elementary school site to be a community senior center.

Who should attend?
This workshop targets design, safety, and traffic engineering personnel who are responsible for day-to-day design decisions.

For more information contact:
Gene Amparano
Safety Engineer
Kansas City, MO
(816) 329-3909

Patrick Hasson
Team Manager
(708) 283-3595

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