Winston, F., McDonald, C., Kandadai, V., Winston, Z. et al., "Experience and Skill Predict Failure to Brake Errors: Further Validation of the Simulated Driving Assessment," SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-0445, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0445.
Driving simulators offer a safe alternative to on-road driving for the evaluation of performance. In addition, simulated drives allow for controlled manipulations of traffic situations producing a more consistent and objective assessment experience and outcome measure of crash risk. Yet, few simulator protocols have been validated for their ability to assess driving performance under conditions that result in actual collisions. This paper presents results from a new Simulated Driving Assessment (SDA), a 35- to-40-minute simulated assessment delivered on a Real-Time® simulator. The SDA was developed to represent typical scenarios in which teens crash, based on analyses from the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS). A new metric, failure to brake, was calculated for the 7 potential rear-end scenarios included in the SDA and examined according two constructs: experience and skill. The study included an inexperienced group (n=21): 16-17 year olds with 90 days or fewer of provisional licensure, and an experienced group (n=17): 25-50 year olds with at least 5 years of PA licensure, at least 100 miles driven per week and no self-reported collisions in the previous 3 years. Skill was rated by a driving evaluator based on video review of SDA performance. When compared to experienced drivers rated as “skilled,” inexperienced drivers rated also as “less skilled” had significantly more failure to brake errors. In addition, experience and skill independently predicted failure to brake errors. These results provide support for the construct validity of the SDA and suggest its potential role as part of new driver assessment tool.