Predicting Driving Ability Using DriveSafe and DriveAware in People with Cognitive Impairments: A Replication Study

Driving is an essential activity of daily life; however any loss of function may impact driving safety. Improved survival rates after stroke or brain injury and an aging population means there will be greater a numbers of people with cognitive impairment who wish to continue, or resume, driving. Researchers have long attempted to develop tests that can predict driving performance with a sufficient accuracy in order to avoid the need for an on-road assessment of drivers. Drivers’ awareness of their driving performance and the driving environment have been identified as important contributors to safe driving. DriveSafe and DriveAware are presented as assessment tools that can be used to identify ‘at risk’ drivers. These tests categorize drivers as unsafe, safe or requiring further testing and these tests have the potential to reduce the number of people requiring on-road assessment by 50%. However, further research is needed. Successful identification of ‘at risk’ drivers is a community safety issue that DriveSafe and DriveAware can address. The tests have the advantage of being administered in an office setting and they have sufficient sensitivity and specificity to predict driving safety. Plans are underway to develop an electronic platform that could be readily used by doctors and other professionals. This new platform also will require research to validate, or establish new, test cut-offs. Previously developed cut-off scores for off-road assessments using DriveSafe and DriveAware were applied to data from a new sample. The aim of this paper was to determine whether results from previous research are replicable in a different population, to further investigate the psychometric properties of the tools. Using a retrospective cohort design from DriveSafe and DriveAware data was gathered in three driving centers in Sydney (N = 90). The authors calculated sensitivity and specificity of DriveSafe and DriveAware data for predicting results of on-road testing. Sensitivity and specificity for this study were very similar to those previously documented. The findings that are presented in this paper will add to the body of evidence that suggests that not all drivers referred to occupational therapy driving assessors require expensive, time-consuming and potentially high risk on-road assessments.


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  • Accession Number: 01529841
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 13 2014 2:51PM