A possible path towards preserving and remediating driving skills while aging is driver training. Previous studies have yielded mixed results with respect to various types of interventions, such as classroom-based training, on-road driving classes and functional abilities training. The present study-incorporated training features found to be effective in previous older driver training studies, into both a computer-based and driving simulator-based intervention. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of both training formats on general driving ability and specific aspects of driving in older drivers at risk of reduced driving abilities. Additionally, the effect of training on perceived task demand was studied, and learning capacity was considered as an influencing factor on training effectiveness. A total of 31 older drivers were randomly assigned to three groups: driving simulator-based training, computer-based training, and an active control group. The participants completed a cognitive assessment including evaluation of learning capacity and a self-assessment of task demand in various traffic situations. Additionally, participants took a driving simulator assessment. Knowledge of road signs, general driving and specific aspects of driving (i.e., average speed, response time to hazards) improved with training, although improvement was found to be evenly strong in all groups. Learning capacity did not influence training effectiveness, and no difference was found in perceived task demand before and after training. The proposed methodology to evaluate training effectiveness, focusing both on clinically relevant and detailed transfer effects can serve as an example for further studies in the field of driver training.
Urlings, J. H. J., Roelofs, E., Cuenen, A., Brijs, K., Brijs, T., & Jongen, E. (2019). Development of single-session driving simulator-based and computer-based training for at-risk older drivers. Educational Gerontology, 45(4), 283-296. https://doi.org/10.1080/03601277.2019.1619954