Speed-of-processing and driving simulator training result in improved driving performance

Academic Article


  • Useful field of view, a measure of processing speed and spatial attention, can be improved with training. We evaluated the effects of this improvement on older adults' driving performance. Elderly adults participated in a speed-of-processing training program (N = 48), a traditional driver training program performed in a driving simulator (N = 22), or a low-risk reference group (N = 25). Before training, immediately after training or an equivalent time delay, and after an 18-month delay each participant was evaluated in a driving simulator and completed a 14-mile (22.5-km) open-road driving evaluation. Speed-of-processing training, but not simulator training, improved a specific measure of useful field of view (UFOV®), transferred to some simulator measures, and resulted in fewer dangerous maneuvers during the driving evaluation. The simulator-trained group improved on two driving performance measures: turning into the correct lane and proper signal use. Similar effects were not observed in the speed-of-processing training or low-risk reference groups. The persistence of these effects over an 18-month test interval was also evaluated. Actual or potential applications of this research include driver assessment and/or training programs and cognitive intervention programs for older adults.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Roenker DL; Cissell GM; Ball KK; Wadley VG; Edwards JD
  • Start Page

  • 218
  • End Page

  • 233
  • Volume

  • 45
  • Issue

  • 2