National Older Driver Research and Training Center

Examining issues surrounding older driver assessment, remediation, rehabilitation, and the use of alternatives to the car.

Publications - ICADI


Development of a Behind-the-Wheel Driving Assessment for Older Adults

Presenter: Justiss, Michael


The purpose of this study is to explore methods of behind-the-wheel assessment of older drivers and test the reliability and criterion validity of a standardized on-road performance measure.

The behind-the-wheel (BTW) driving assessment has been identified as the most appropriate method to determine driving competence. Inconsistent scoring methods and lack of standardized procedures to quantify driving performance has prompted researchers to develop tools to more objectively measure this dynamic task. Despite attempts to quantify driving performance, the accepted global criterion outcome (pass/fail) is determined by evaluator judgment rather than a quantifiable driving score. A behind-the-wheel performance measure was used to quantify driving performance of older adults.

This study will analyze the criterion validity, inter-rater reliability, stability, internal consistency, and geographic generalizability of a behind-the-wheel driving performance measure.

Results show a high correlation between evaluator judgment of driving competency and the driving performance score during a behind-the-wheel exam among older adults. Results also demonstrate good construct validity, inter-reliability, stability, and generalizability of these scoring methods across different locations.

Standardization of behind-the-wheel driving evaluations provides valid and reliable outcomes to identify the driving competence of older drivers. These methods provide a foundation to explore the predictive validity of clinical screening and assessment tools to safely and fairly identify at-risk older drivers.