Fatigued Driving in Young and Older Adults: The Effects of an Automated Trivia Game
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Monotonous road conditions may lead to fatigue and increased crash risk. Implementing a secondary (dual) task, such as a trivia game, during monotonous simulated driving has been found to increase driving performance in tired young adult drivers. Such interventions, however, have not been examined in tired older adults, a group found to demonstrate performance declines in dual-task situations. The effects of an interactive trivia game were examined during monotonous simulated driving (MSD) on driving performance in both young and older adults. Thirty-four young adults (mean age 21.5±3.9) and 35 older adults (mean age 63.4±7.2) were recruited. All participants completed measures of executive functioning prior to the simulated drive. Fatigue was induced through 50-min of MSD, followed by 10-min of MSD. Next, participants engaged in 1 0-min dual-task driving during which they also were asked to answer questions from an automated trivia game. Driving performance was measured by how consistently the driver stayed in the center of the lane during both 1 0-min driving segments. Results indicated a significant difference in dual task cost (DTC, change in driving performance) between young and older adults. There also was a significant correlation between DTC in the trivia condition and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test Failure to Maintain Set. Overall, no evidence was found to support the hypothesis that a specific auditorily presented dual-task intervention would improve lane maintenance in young adults but would not facilitate improvements in lane maintenance in older adults; however poorer executive function was significantly associated with poorer driving performance during the dual task condition, regardless of driver age.