Vredenburgh & Zackowitz, Inc.

Human Factors, Ergonomics, Safety,
Engineering & Organizational Consulting


Age-related Factors


Vredenburgh, M.J., Zackowitz, I.B., Spencer, D, DeTaboada, M.R, & Vredenburgh, A.G. (2010). What constitutes typical adolescent behavior and how does it differ from adult conduct? In Waldemar Karwowski & Gavriel Salvendy (Ed.). Advances In Human Factors, Ergonomics, and Safety Manufacturing and Service Industries. 927-936.

Adolescence is a period that includes children ranging in age from 12 to 18 years. At this time, children are beginning to develop their own identities and are greatly concerned about peer approval. Adolescents are at great risk for being involved in injury incidents due to developmental characteristics unique to this age group. As human factors and safety consultants, we analyze multiple incidents every year that involve adolescents. In order to gain perspective on adolescent behavior, we developed a survey that was administered to the adolescents themselves. This differs from much past research on the topic that relied on hospital data and parent perceptions. This paper discusses common adolescent risk-taking behavior and their limited self-protective behavior.

Vredenburgh, A.G., Vredenburgh, M.J., & Kalsher, M.J. (2006). Adolescent risk perception and self-protective behavior regarding airsoft and paintball Guns. IEA2006: 16th World Congress on Ergonomics. Elsevier Ltd.

Airsoft and paintball markers (paintball guns) are marketed as toy replicas of real firearms and have become popular worldwide. A survey created for this study consists of 26 items that requested information on demographics, experience using toy guns and perceptions of the dangers of the toy guns. Of the participants 45% had not used an airsoft gun and 55% had. 43% had used a paintball gun and 57% had experienced paintball. 60% had used a BB gun and 40% have not used a BB gun. Of the 40 participants that have used an airsoft, during target practice 41% did not ever wear eye protection. However when they played airsoft with other people 15% still did not ever wear eye protection.

Zackowitz, I.B, & Vredenburgh, A.G. (2005). Preschoolers, adolescents and seniors: Age-related factors that pertain to forensic human factors analyses. In Y.I. Noy & W. Karwowski (Eds.), Handbook of Human Factors in Litigation. Chapter 35. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 35-1 – 35-11.

In this chapter we will discuss the age-related issues one may consider when investigating accidents that occur among preschoolers, adolescents and older individuals. The objective is to illustrate how factors beyond the basic facts of a case can be evaluated before a thorough analysis is complete. Research in psychology provides us with insight into developmental issues for many age groups. Combining forensic human factors and psychology will provide useful age-related guidelines for consultants to consider when investigating accidents. To demonstrate the evaluation of age-related human factors, six cases that we have investigated as forensic consultants will be discussed. Two cases for pre-school aged children will be presented: a pedestrian versus vehicle accident and a playground accident. Two cases illustrate adolescent issues: a child in traffic and a fall from height. Two cases concern older adults: a trip and fall accident and a driving accident. While specific cases are used as examples, this information will be useful to many practitioners in human factors forensic consulting as it can be applied to many different accident scenarios.

Zackowitz, I.B, & Vredenburgh, A.G. (2002). Applying a forensic human factors engineering analysis to falls in elderly people. In Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Atlanta, GA, 96-97.

Vredenburgh, A.G., & Zackowitz, I.B. (1998). Older drivers: A forensic human factors analysis. (Summary) In Proceedings of the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, San Francisco, CA., 91-92.

Zackowitz, I.B, & Vredenburgh, A.G. (1998). Preschoolers: A forensic human factors analysis.(Summary) In Proceedings of the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, San Francisco, CA., 90-91.