Evaluation of driving simulator based training for older drivers in Sweden: Deliverable 2.4.3

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Helena Selander
Jonas Andersson Hultgren

Being able to assess your own performance can be vital to maintain safe mobility for older drivers. Overestimation can lead to increased risk of being involved in a crash and underestimation to unjustifiable restrictions in mobility. A pre/post intervention study was conducted with the aim to improve older drivers’ ability to assess their own driving performance. The aim was not to improve performance per se but the ability to assess, i.e. to calibrate themselves. Thus, a driving simulator program was developed and evaluated with a group of 36 older drivers. However, due to simulator sickness only 21 driver completed the study. Drivers repeatedly assessed their driving performance by answering the question “How well do you think you performed on the driving task? (1 = very bad to 5 = very well)”. As a reference of correctly assessed driving performance we used an experienced occupational therapist (specialised in driver assessment) who assessed the drive with the same scale (expert assessment).

Feedback can be an effective tool for change, which we wanted to evaluate. Thus, feedback to the drivers were given as a specification of errors made (e.g. forgot to use direction indicators, driving too fast, etc.). Feedback could also include information on correct behaviour (e.g. give way to pedestrians, keeping the right speed etc.). Thus, the drivers were divided into two groups: one (n=11) who were told of their misses and one (n=10) who were also informed about their correct behaviour. Training was done at three different occasions.

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