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Geriatrics 2016, 1(3), 21; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1030021

Assessment of Drivers with Alzheimer’s Disease in High Demand Driving Situations: Coping with Intersections in a Driving Simulator

1
School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
2
Faculty of Human Sciences, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, ON K1S 1C4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Max Toepper
Received: 10 June 2016 / Revised: 5 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impaired Driving Skills in Older Adults)
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Abstract

Intersections are one of the most complex and cognitively demanding driving situations. Individuals with dementia and, more precisely, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), may face additional challenges negotiating intersections given the nature of their cognitive decline, which often includes deficits of attention. We developed a comprehensive evaluation scheme to assess simulated driving performance at intersections. The evaluation scheme captured all types of errors that could occur during preparation (i.e., prior to the intersection), execution (i.e., during the intersection), and recovery (i.e., after the intersection). Using the evaluation scheme, intersection behaviour in a driving simulator among 17 drivers with mild AD was compared to that of 21 healthy controls. The results indicated that across all types of intersections, mild AD drivers exhibited a greater number of errors relative to controls. Drivers with mild AD made the most errors during the preparation period leading up to the intersection. These findings present a novel approach to analyzing intersection behaviour and contribute to the growing body of research on dementia and driving. View Full-Text
Keywords: driving; dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; simulation; intersections; attention; driver assessment driving; dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; simulation; intersections; attention; driver assessment
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Stinchcombe, A.; Paquet, S.; Yamin, S.; Gagnon, S. Assessment of Drivers with Alzheimer’s Disease in High Demand Driving Situations: Coping with Intersections in a Driving Simulator. Geriatrics 2016, 1, 21.

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