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The influence of hearing loss on transport safety and mobility
Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Traffic and road users, Human-vehicle-transport system interaction. (Linnaeus Centre HEAD)
Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Traffic and road users, Human-vehicle-transport system interaction. (Linnaeus Centre HEAD)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2301-5793
Linköping University. (Linnaeus Centre HEAD)
Linköping University. (Linnaeus Centre HEAD)
2013 (English)In: European Transport Research Review, ISSN 1867-0717, E-ISSN 1866-8887, Vol. 5, no 3, 117-127 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: To examine how road users with different degree of hearing loss experience safety and mobility in transport situations, compared to road users with normal hearing.

Methods: A questionnaire study was conducted with participants recruited from the local branch of The Swedish hard of hearing society. A normal hearing control group, matched on age, gender and geographical location, was selected from a commercial database. The response rate was 35% (n = 194) in the group with Hearing Loss (HL) and 42% (n = 125) in the group with Normal Hearing (NH). The individuals with hearing loss were grouped into four groups according to the degree of their hearing loss (mild, moderate, severe and profound).

Results: Hearing loss affected some specific aspects regarding transport situations, while others remained unaffected. Individuals with hearing loss were not as likely to have a driving license, but for those who have, hearing loss had no effect on mileage per year. Loss of hearing had an effect on criteria for choosing mode of transportation, but in the aggregate, no difference between the groups could be shown in the distribution of how much each mode of transportation was used. With a few exceptions, hearing loss did not affect the ratings of importance of hearing for different transportation modes. Hearing loss affected most questions regarding hearing and driver abilities, while avoidance of specific traffic situations was not associated with hearing loss. Hearing loss had only minor effects on the factors causing inattention when driving, and on the interest in a warning system for driver inattention. The interest in a warning system for driver inattention was high regardless of hearing category.

Conclusions: Hearing loss influences the prevalence of driving license and criteria for choosing mode of transportation, however has no effect on the distribution of how much each mode of transportation was used. In general, in this study, respondents with higher degree of hearing loss were less concerned about the effect of hearing loss, indicating that they might be using coping strategies. The interest in warning system for inattention and the attitude towards strengthening of auditory information in traffic situations is high regardless of hearing category. This suggests further research on coping strategies and on design of support systems accessible for drivers with hearing loss. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2013. Vol. 5, no 3, 117-127 p.
Keyword [en]
Hearing, Mobility (pers), Safety
National Category
Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Road: Transport, society, policy and planning, Road: Personal transport
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vti:diva-6647DOI: 10.1007/s12544-012-0087-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vti-6647DiVA: diva2:687627
Available from: 2014-01-14 Created: 2014-01-14 Last updated: 2015-05-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Effects of hearing loss on traffic safety and mobility
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of hearing loss on traffic safety and mobility
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Effekter av hörselnedsättning på trafiksäkerhet och mobilitet
Abstract [en]

The aim of this PhD thesis was to investigate traffic safety and mobility for individuals with hearing loss (HL). Three studies were conducted: 1. a questionnaire survey aimed to evaluate differences in choice of transportation that might be related to HL, 2. a driving simulator study that looked into compensatory strategies and evaluated the efficiency of a tactile signal to alert the driver, and 3. a field study to evaluate these effects in real traffic and to evaluate a navigation system with a supportive tactile signal. The effects of HL discovered in this thesis add to the knowledge and understanding of the influence of HL on traffic safety and mobility. Differences found consistently point to a generally more cautious behavior. Compensatory and coping strategies associated with HL are bound to driving complexity and appear when complexity increases. These strategies include driving at lower speeds, using a more comprehensive visual search behavior and being less engaged in distracting activities. Evaluation of a tactile signal showed that by adding a tactile modality, some driver assistance systems can also be made accessible to drivers with HL. At the same time, the systems might be more effective for all users, since the driver can be more focused on the road. Based on the results in this thesis, drivers with HL cannot be considered an increased traffic safety risk, and there should be no need for adjustments of the requirements of hearing for a license to drive a car.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med den här doktorsavhandlingen var att undersöka trafiksäkerhet och mobilitet för individer med hörselnedsättning (HN). Tre studier har genomförts: 1. en enkätstudie för att undersöka skillnader i transportvanor relaterade till HN, 2. en körsimulatorstudie for att titta på kompensatoriska strategier och utvärdera effektiviteten i en taktil signal för att påkalla förarens uppmärksamhet och 3. en fältstudie för att undersöka effekterna i riktig trafik samt utvärdera ett navigationssystem med en taktil signal som stöd för navigering. Effekterna av HN som kom fram i denna avhandling bidrar till kunskapen och förståelsen för hur HN påverkar trafiksäkerhet och mobilitet. De funna skillnaderna pekar konsistent mot ett generelltmera försiktigt beteende. Kompensatoriska - och copingstrategier förknippade med HN beror på körkomplexitet och observeras när komplexiteten ökar. Dessa strategier innebär körning med lägre hastighet, mera heltäckande visuell avsökning och mindre engagemang i distraherande uppgifter. Utvärdering av en taktil signal visade att genom att lägga till en taktil modalitet kan vissa förarstödsystem bli tillgängliga även för förare med HN. Samtidigt kan systemen bli mera effektiva för alla användare eftersom föraren då kan fokusera mera på vägen. Baserat på resultaten i den här avhandlingen kan inte förare med HN betraktas som någon förhöjd risk och det bör därmed inte finnas något behov av att justera hörselkraven när det gäller körkortsinnehav.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 81 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 636Studies from the Swedish Institute for Disability Research, ISSN 1650-1128 ; 69
Keyword
Hearing, Driver, Driving (veh), Behaviour, Cognition, Mental load, Eye movement, Tactile, Warning, Signal, Driver assistance system, Navigation (route), Simulator (driving), Test, Safety
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
80 Road: Traffic safety and accidents, 841 Road: Road user behaviour
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:vti:diva-7842 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-111933 (DOI)978-91-7519-178-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-12-05, I:101, Hus I, Campus Valla, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-05-05 Created: 2015-05-05 Last updated: 2016-08-19Bibliographically approved

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