2007 Spring Seed Funding Competition : Project Profile
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Driving into the Future: Promoting Driving Safety across the Lifespan

Lead Investigator:

Brenda Vrkljan, School of Rehabilitation Sciences


  • Hong-Jin Sun, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
  • Allison Sekuler, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
  • Pat Bennett, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
  • Tim Lee, Department of Kinesiology
For all individuals and, in particular, for older adults, the mobility afforded by accessing an automobile is critical to independence. While driving is a key determinant of health, drivers aged 16-24 and 65+ have the highest collision and fatality rates per kilometre driven. This cross-faculty pilot project brings together expertise in cognitive neuroscience and vision science (Sekuler, Bennett, Sun), motor learning (Lee) and driver rehabilitation (Vrkljan) to systematically examine how drivers across the lifespan attend, process, and respond to visual information in their driving environment. Using a driving simulator (Sun Lab), these results will set the stage for testing a computer-based driver training tool that can improve visual-attentional processing; a prerequisite skill for driving safety