Driving in alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke

Ergun Y. Uc, Matthew Rizzo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


The Problem. The proportion of elderly in the general population is projected to rise, with corresponding increases in age-related neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or Parkinson’s disease (PD), and stroke. These disorders impair perception, cognition, and motor function, leading to reduced driver fitness and increased crash risk. Medical diagnosis or age alone is not reliable enough to predict driver safety or crashes and there is no effective rehabilitation for these drivers. Role of Driving Simulators. Driving simulators can help characterize patterns of driver error in a roadway environment that are challenging but safe compared to driving on the open road. There is preliminary evidence that simulators can be used in driver rehabilitation in neurological disorders (e.g., stroke). Key Results of Driving Simulator Studies. Driving simulators have been used to discriminate between the performance of drivers with AD, PD, and stroke and comparison drivers of similar age without neurological disease. Impairments in cognition, visual perception, and motor function have been the main predictors of poor simulated driving outcomes. Scenarios and Dependent Variables. A number of scenarios and the dependent variables can be used to differentiate between normal older drivers and those with PD, AD, and stroke, depending on the specific questions to be answered. Platform Specificity and Equipment Limitations. Scenarios to discriminate between safe and unsafe drivers with neurological disease can be implemented on a variety of simulators. The relationships between performance on these different platforms and real-world driving performance is under study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Driving Simulation for Engineering, Medicine, and Psychology
PublisherCRC Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781420061017
ISBN (Print)9781138074583
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Stroke
  • Visual Perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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