The effect of a simulator based training on specific measures of driving ability in older drivers

Ariane Cuenen*, E.M.M. Jongen, Tom Brijs, Kris Brijs, Karin Van Vlierden, Geert Wets

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Since driving is important for quality of life, it is important to keep older drivers safe drivers for as long as possible. Therefore, this study investigated whether driving simulator based training can enhance specific measures of driving ability in older drivers. Forty older drivers participated in the study, but due to drop-out, 30 participants (mean age 69.93) remained in the sample. Participants were randomly assigned to an experimental (N = 15) or an active control group (N = 15). During the training session, participants in both groups drove in the simulator, in order to have equal driving experience in the simulator. In addition, participants in the experimental group received driving-specific feedback on their driving ability, while participants in the active control group received general information about traffic and conducted a traffic-related quiz. During the pre-test and post-test, specific measures of driving ability were assessed in the driving simulator (i.e., mean driving speed, standard deviation of lateral position, complete stops at stop signs, giving right of way to traffic at the right side and crashes). Results indicated that both groups had improved lateral control and less crashes after following a driving simulator based training. In addition, after following a driving simulator based training, participants in the experimental group gave more right of way to traffic at the right side and participants in the active control group drove faster (without exceeding the speed limits). These results demonstrated that driving multiple times in a simulator, improves performance on some measures of driving ability like lateral control. However, in order to improve on measures of driving ability like giving right of way to traffic at the right side, driving-specific feedback is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-46
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Part F-Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Volume64
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

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