DISTRACTED DRIVING AND AGING
You are driving along and your cell-phone buzzes. What do you do? We all know that taking our attention off the road to look at our cellphones is dangerous, but what if we are stopped at a red light? How long does it take to go from using our cell phone to giving driving the attention it deserves? In this project we aim to study that question by developing a driving simulator that includes a cellphone. The simulator allows us to distract drivers with a text to measure how long their driving remains impaired after answering their cell, and how long it takes biophysical markers, like heart rate variability, to return to baseline. This work is in conjunction with the center for aging, and we are particularly interested in how already at-risk elderly drivers recover their attention.