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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 125-129

Assessment of driving skills of indian adults on a driving simulator: A pilot study

Department of Occupational Therapy, All India Institute of Physical and Medical Rehabilitation, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sushmita Ahirwal
All India Institute of Physical and Medical Rehabilitation, K.K. Marg, L.L. Udyan, Haji Ali, Mahalaxmi, Girls Hostel,Mumbai - 400 034, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoth.ijoth_16_19

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Background: Driving is associated with independence, but it also exposes a person to harmful situations while on road. Safety becomes an important aspect while assessing an individual's driving ability. This study examined the driving performance of Indian drivers, both young- and middle-aged adults on driving simulator (DS). Three tests were selected on the DS: Ability test 1: clutch, accelerator, brake, and steering assessment; Ability test 2: stopping, precise stopping, hard stopping, and reaction time; and Ability test 3: city driving for 5 min. Objective: The objective of the study was to assess and compare the driving performance in young- and middle-aged Indian adults. Study Design: Observational, analytical study design was chosen for the research - a pilot study on DS. Methods: A total of thirty normal adults were included in this study. Among them, 15 normal adults who were of 20-40 years were called young adults and other 15 who were of 40-60 years were called middle-aged. The inclusion criteria were normal adults with experience of driving four-wheeler for ≥1-year, both male and females, and age >20 years. Exclusion criteria were normal adults who had readily noticeable visual, cognitive, or locomotors impairment which can compromise on the driving ability. The outcome measures were scores from DS software. The test scores were analyzed using unpaired t-test. Results: There were 30 normal adults included in the study (n = 30). In Ability 1, performance on clutch (P = 0.13), brake (P = 0.90), and accelerator (P = 0.97) did not show significant difference between the young and middle age groups; steering (P = 0.00) performance had highly significant difference between young- and middle-aged adults. Middle-aged adults performed better than young adults. In Ability 2, performance for precise stopping (P = 0.01) has shown a significant difference, whereas reaction time (P = 0.008) is highly significant. On the other hand, stopping (P = 0.6) and hard stopping (P = 0.85) do not have a significant difference between the two groups.In city driving (P = 0.00), middle-aged adults performed better than young adults. The level of significance was set at α =0.05 and the confidence interval was at 95%, and the degree of freedom was 28. Conclusion: The performance of driving skills in normal Indian adults on DS is an achievable functional measure. Middle-aged adults are at par with young adults in the simulated operations when checked on the DS for Ability 1, Ability 2, and city driving.

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