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Asperger’s Syndrome: The implication on driver training methods & road safety

Tyler, S

Novice Driver Programs

ACRS conference 2012

Road safety issues often focus on behaviour and attitudes to driving in key age groups. However, underlying conditions such as Asperger Syndrome (AS) are not given enough consideration in the training and testing phase to ensure these road users are sufficiently equipped with the necessary skills to ensure the safety of themselves and other road users. The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders is approximately 62: 10000 at present. This is steadily rising as diagnostic methods are refined and awareness of the condition increases. This issue must be addressed urgently and infrastructure put into place to ensure this group of potential road users are taught and tested in the most effective way to address any road safety concerns. This report looks at the educational issues faced by this special needs group and the potential problems at the testing phase when attempting the provisional drivers test. Four case studies have been reviewed to see the real problems faced by supervisors and instructors during training and the strategies that can be implemented to decrease the risks associated for this road user group.