Driving Behaviors in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Abstract

This pilot study investigated driving history and driving behaviors between adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as compared to non-ASD adult drivers. Seventy-eight licensed drivers with ASD and 94 non-ASD comparison participants completed the Driver Behavior Questionnaire. Drivers with ASD endorsed significantly lower ratings of their ability to drive, and higher numbers of traffic accidents and citations relative to non-ASD drivers. Drivers with ASD also endorsed significantly greater numbers of difficulties on the following subscales: intentional violations, F(1, 162) = 6.15, p = .01, η 2 p  = .04; mistakes, F(1, 162) = 10.15, p = .002, η 2 p  = .06; and slips/lapses, F(1, 162) = 11.33, p = .001, η 2 p  = .07. These findings suggest that individuals with ASD who are current drivers may experience more difficulties in driving behaviors and engage in more problematic driving behaviors relative to non-ASD drivers.

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Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge Connor Kerns, Ph.D. for her helpful comments in reviewing this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Brian P. Daly.

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Daly, B.P., Nicholls, E.G., Patrick, K.E. et al. Driving Behaviors in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 44, 3119–3128 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2166-y

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Keywords

  • Autism
  • Adults
  • Driving
  • Violations