Highway Facilities for an Aging Arizona Population
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Highway Facilities for an Aging Arizona Population

Filetype[PDF-966.85 KB]

  • English

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    • Abstract:
      The purpose of this research project is threefold: to examine the current knowledge of state-of-the-art highway design practices aimed at increasing the safety of older drivers; assess the crash and fatality data for older drivers in Arizona; and survey older adults regarding their perceptions of Arizona’s roadways and possible needs for enhancement. Older adults increasingly make up a larger part of the driving population. Age related declines and complications from medical conditions put older drivers at higher risk of collision, and when in collision, of a fatal injury. Changes in visual acuity, cognition, use of certain medications, and functional impairment may contribute to reduced driving ability. In Arizona we found that, like older adults nationwide, older drivers were more likely have angle and left-turn collisions, to be in collisions involving intersections and junctions, at signaled and unsignaled left-turn intersections, and in daylight hours. Older adults surveyed rated driving at night as very difficult, followed by driving on a freeway and identifying street names, feel improvement could be made to lettering for roadway signs, intersection markings and signals, and support increasing the availability of sidewalks. Survey respondents most frequently rated larger and better-illuminated traffic signs as the most helpful design improvement that could be implemented and most frequently rated special senior driver testing programs as most the most effective screening and assessment option. It is recommended that Arizona use locations identified in this study as having high rates of collisions involving older adults to develop test sites for roadway improvements. We also recommend that the state begin to review its screening, assessment and education for older drivers with the intent of developing a more stringent screening and assessment process and develop and implement self-testing for older adults to support improved driving safety.
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