Utility of a novel simulator paradigm in the assessment of driving ability in individuals with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

  • John BernsteinEmail author
  • Scott Roye
  • Matthew Calamia
  • Alyssa De Vito
Original Article


This study aimed to evaluate the utility of a novel, more cost-effective driving simulator, Assetto Corsa (AC), in detecting differences in driving performance between individuals with and without ADHD. Driving simulators are a useful means of assessing driving performance in those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, they are frequently expensive and thus unavailable to many researchers. A total of 87 participants (16 with ADHD, 71 without) completed an AC driving simulator task. They also completed computerized measures of attention and executive functioning and a questionnaire assessing self-reported driving behaviors and anger, ADHD and related symptoms, and mind wandering. Relative to those without ADHD, participants with ADHD reached higher average ground speeds and more greatly utilized the throttle. They also applied higher maximum pressure to the throttle and brake pedals. Within the full sample, greater mind wandering was associated with average and maximum throttle pressure and maximum ground speed. Findings confirm prior works indicative of a deleterious effect of ADHD diagnosis on simulator performance and may be attributed to a combination of impulsivity and mind wandering.


Simulation and virtual reality Mental disabilities Distraction Driver behavior Attentional processes 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Bernstein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Scott Roye
    • 1
  • Matthew Calamia
    • 1
  • Alyssa De Vito
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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