Effects of visual complexity of in-vehicle information display: Age-related differences in visual search task in the driving context

Seul Chan Lee, Young Woo Kim, Yong Gu Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


We aimed to investigate the effects of the visual complexity of in-vehicle information display and driver's age in a driving context. A driving simulator study was conducted where participants performed visual search tasks at different visual complexity levels while driving. Two groups were included, 20 younger drivers (mean age = 28.75 years) and 14 older drivers (mean age = 54.87 years). Older drivers were found to be more vulnerable to the effects of increased visual complexity when performing a visual search task. The task completion time of the younger group increased by about 20% (from 7.69 s to 9.30 s), while the older group increased by about 47% (from 8.92 s to 13.14 s). Further, the driving performance of the older group deteriorated, unlike the younger group. The subjective workload score supported the results of the objective performance measures. These differences can be explained by glance behavior. The total off-road glance duration of older drivers was longer than that of younger drivers, but the average off-road glance duration of younger drivers was longer. In other words, older drivers have a more conservative strategy when dealing with increased visual complexity in a driving context so as not to affect their driving. The findings of this study show that the visual complexity level has a significant effect on driving behaviors, especially in older drivers, which provides insights for designing in-vehicle information displays.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102888
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korea government(MSIT) (No. 2017R1E1A2A01076791 ).

Funding Information:
This work is financially supported by Korea Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport(MOLIT) as 「Innovative Talent Education Program for Smart City」

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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