Previous research has shown that the useful field of view (UFOV) is a useful tool in predicting driving ability, and the UFOV also seems to decline with age. The goals of the current study were first, to examine UFOV changes systematically as a function of age (15-84), and, second, to determine the effect of dividing attention on the UFOV. Our results show that the deterioration in the UFOV begins early in life (by 20 years, or younger). This deterioration is best conceptualized as a decrease in the efficiency with which observers can extract information from a cluttered scene, rather than by shrinking of the field of view per se. The diminished efficiency among elderly observers is exacerbated when conditions require the division of attention between central and peripheral tasks.