Driving and cognitive functioning: does age matter?
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 22:36 authored by Selena Ledger
There is an established relationship in the literature between cognitive functioning and driving performance in older drivers and new evidence suggests that this relationship also exists in younger drivers. Given this, it follows that this relationship may exist for all drivers, however the relationship between cognitive function and driving in drivers in middle adulthood has not yet been examined. This study therefore aims to examine this relationship in drivers in middle adulthood, and thereby fill the gap in the literature. A secondary aim was to apply a neurocognitive model of driving to this driver group. The participants were 88 drivers aged between 24 and 65. Each participant was assessed on a battery of cognitive tests and completed a drive on a driving simulator. Measures of driving performance included speeding, lane deviation, and an overall driving performance score. The results showed new evidence to suggest that overall cognitive function can predict speeding and overall driving performance. There is preliminary evidence to suggest that a neurocognitive model of driving can explain speeding in drivers in middle adulthood. Future research should focus on the development of a comprehensive model to explain driving performance across all ages and across disciplines.