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Investigating the driving performance of drivers with and without autism spectrum disorders under complex driving conditions
School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI), Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia , Australia.
School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI), Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia , Australia.
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. CHILD. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dep. of Rehabilitation. Curtin University, Australia, Linköping University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0756-6862
2017 (English)In: Disability and Rehabilitation, ISSN 0963-8288, E-ISSN 1464-5165Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the driving performance of drivers with autism spectrum disorders under complex driving conditions. Method: Seventeen drivers with autism spectrum disorders and 18 typically developed drivers participated in a driving simulator trial. Prior to the assessment, participants completed the Driving Behaviour Questionnaire and measurements of cognitive and visual-motor ability. The driving simulation involved driving in an urban area with dense traffic and unpredictable events. Results: In comparison with the typically developed group, drivers with autism spectrum disorders reported significantly more lapses in driving, committed more mistakes on the driving simulator, and were slower to react in challenging situations, such as driving through intersections with abrupt changes in traffic lights. However, they were also less likely to tailgate other vehicles, as measured by time-to-collision between vehicles, on the driving simulator. Conclusions: The performances of licensed drivers with autism spectrum disorders appeared to be safer in respect to car-following distance but were poorer in their response to challenging traffic situations. Driver education for individuals with autism spectrum disorders should focus on quick identification of hazards, prompt execution of responses, and effective allocation of attention to reduce lapses in driving. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017.
Keywords [en]
Asperger’s syndrome, critical response, driving simulation, hazard perception, highfunctioning autism, transportation
National Category
Applied Psychology Vehicle Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-37580DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2017.1370498Local ID: HHJCHILDISOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-37580DiVA, id: diva2:1147616
Available from: 2017-10-06 Created: 2017-10-06 Last updated: 2017-10-06

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Falkmer, Torbjörn

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