Using a driving simulator to identify older drivers at inflated risk of motor vehicle crashes

Hoe C. Lee, Andy H. Lee, Don Cameron, Wai Ping Cecilia Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

150 Citations (Scopus)


Problem: To develop appropriate assessment criteria to measure the performance of older drivers using an interactive PC-based driving simulator, and to determine which measures were associated with the occurrence of motor-vehicle crash. Method: One hundred and twenty-nine older drivers residing in a metropolitan city volunteered to participate in this retrospective cohort study. Using the driving simulator, appropriate driving tasks were devised to test the older drivers, whose performances were assessed by 10 reliable assessment criteria. Logistic regression analysis was then undertaken to determine those criteria that influence the self-reported crash outcome. Results: As expected, driving skill of older drivers was found to decline with age. Over 60% of the sample participants reported having at least one motor-vehicle crash during the past year. Adjusting for age in a logistic regression analysis, the cognitive abilities associated with the crash occurrence were working memory, decision making under pressure of time, and confidence in driving at high speed. Summary: The findings of this retrospective study indicated those individuals at inflated risk of vehicle crashes could be identified using the PC-based interactive driving simulator. Prospective studies need to be undertaken to determine whether the driving simulator can predict future crash events. Impact on industry: This study demonstrated an economical driving simulator approach to screen out problematic or unsafe older drivers before a more detailed but expensive road test is considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-459
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2003


  • Driving simulator
  • Off-road assessment
  • Older drivers
  • Simulated driving performance
  • Vehicle crash

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Safety Research
  • Law
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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