A Simulation‐based Assessment Approach to Increase Safety among Senior Drivers

The primary goal of this study is to develop driving simulation strategies for the assessment of senior aged drivers, targeting those with known/suspected cognitive impairment. These simulation strategies will supplement, not replace, existing protocols for driver assessment. A driving simulator can be used to: define driving tasks that are likely to be affected by stages of dementia, and to capture vital driver performance metrics. Such a controlled and measurable environment can be used to implement scenarios that sufficiently challenge suspect drivers in a way that, due to safety concerns, could not be accomplished within an actual vehicle. Drivers will be evaluated in a driving simulator located at the University at Buffalo (UB), and subsequently evaluated conventionally: in-clinic (to measure cognitive state) and in-vehicle (to measure mechanical ability to operate a vehicle). In the simulator, drivers will face 3 historically problematic scenarios: 1) Traffic Sign Management, 2) Intersection Management, and 3) Left Turn Management. The road course will be driven twice: with and without evaluator navigation it is hypothesized that patients with dementia will exhibit a marked decrease in driver performance in the absence of evaluator navigation. In an effort to validate the proposed protocol, a small pilot study will be performed. Approximately 15 "well elderly" drivers and 15 drivers with dementia will be recruited and the samples compared subsequent to all evaluations.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Washington, DC  USA  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Mooney, Deborah

  • Performing Organizations:

    State University of New York, Buffalo

    12 Capen Hall
    Buffalo, NY  USA  14260-1660
  • Principal Investigators:

    Hulme, Kevin

  • Start Date: 20110701
  • Actual Completion Date: 20130331
  • Source Data: RiP Project 29270

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01467853
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University Transportation Research Center
  • Contract Numbers: 49111-12-23
  • Files: UTC, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:40PM