Comparing the Driving Safety Benefits of Brain Fitness Training Programs for Older Drivers 2016-01-1441
This study presents a long-term examination of the effects of two types of perceptual-cognitive brain training programs on senior driver behavior and on-road driving performance. Seniors (70+) engaged in either a Toyota-designed in-vehicle training program based on implicit learning principles or a commercially available computer-based training program developed by Posit Science. Another group served as a no-contact control group; total enrollment was 55 participants. Participants completed a series of four experimental sessions: (1) baseline pre-training, (2) immediate post-training, (3) 6-9 months post-training, and (4) 12-16 months post-training. Experimental metrics taken at each session included measures of vehicle control and driver glance behavior on public roads. These sessions were designed to examine not only whether training provided immediate benefit to senior drivers, but also whether any improvements persisted after training or precluded decrements in performance found in untrained individuals. The results found few statistically significant improvements in performance with either type of training. However, there were non-significant trends toward improved glance behavior at risky intersections for participants in the in-vehicle training group, suggesting that this might be a valuable target of future research using experimental designs with increased statistical power.