Volume 50 Number 4, 2013
Pages 463 — 470
Abstract — Driving simulator performance was examined in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) Veterans to objectively evaluate driving abilities among this cohort who self-report poorer driving safety postdeployment. OIF/OEF Veterans (n = 25) and age- and education-matched civilian controls (n = 25) participated in a 30 min driving simulator assessment that measured the frequency of minor, moderate, and severe driving errors. Frequency of errors in specific content domains (speed regulation, positioning, and signaling) was also calculated. All participants answered questions about number of lifetime traffic –warnings,– moving violation tickets, and accidents. Veterans completed the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist–Military Version. On the driving simulator assessment, Veterans committed more minor, moderate, severe, and speeding errors and reported poorer lifetime driving records than the civilian control group. Exploratory analyses revealed an association between increasing errors on the driving simulator with increasing symptoms of PTSD, although statistically this correlation did not reach significance. These findings suggest that Veterans perform more poorly on an objective evaluation of driving safety and that the presence of PTSD could be associated with worse performance on this standardized driving simulator assessment.
Key words: accident, activity of daily living, deployment, military, motor vehicle, OIF/OEF, posttraumatic stress disorder, reintegration, safety, virtual reality.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Monday, July 29, 2013 10:21 AM