MIT researchers in the AgeLab car

Auto Observer recently sat down with researchers at the MIT AgeLab to learn more about a new study about distracted driving and how it changes as we age. By placing drivers of various ages into a simulator, researchers can collect data related to distraction. After studying conditions such as heart rate and eye movement, it becomes clear that different age groups are distracted by different stimuli. For example, young people have a harder time tuning out in-car distractions like text messages and cell phones, while older drivers are more impacted by sirens and flashing lights outside of the vehicle.

Researcher Bryan Reimer said that in most cases, reducing distracted driving isn't so much a matter of leveraging technology to make current car features easier to use; instead, it's more about properly educating drivers about said features before they hit the road .

AgeLab also investigated a number of other driving-related technologies, including automated parallel parking systems like the one found on the 2010 Lincoln MKS to discern how drivers of various ages would adapt to theem. Hit the jump to see a video on the research.