We examined differences in response latencies obtained during a validated video-based hazard perception driving test between three healthy, community-dwelling groups: 22 mid-aged (35-55 years), 34 young-old (65-74 years), and 23 old-old (75-84 years) current drivers, matched for gender, education level, and vocabulary. We found no significant difference in performance between mid-aged and young-old groups, but the old-old group was significantly slower than the other two groups. The differences between the old-old group and the other groups combined were independently mediated by useful field of view (UFOV), contrast sensitivity, and simple reaction time measures. Given that hazard perception latency has been linked with increased crash risk, these results are consistent with the idea that increased crash risk in older adults could be a function of poorer hazard perception, though this decline does not appear to manifest until age 75+ in healthy drivers.
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