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10.1016_j.procs.2022.03.044.pdf (680.16 kB)

Experiences with licensing by autistic drivers: An exploratory study

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submitted on 2024-07-09, 05:27 and posted on 2024-07-09, 05:28 authored by Hélène Dirix, Kris Brijs, Eddy Huysmans, An Neven, Tom Brijs, Ellen Jongen, Wael Alhajyaseen, Geert Wets, Veerle Ross

Autistic individuals obtain their driver’s licenses significantly less or significantly later than non-autistic peers. In the past, research has been done on what problems autistic individuals experience when (learning to) driv(e)ing. However, little research has been conducted on how they experience the preparation for and the actual driving tests (i.e., theoretical and practical). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to obtain preliminary insights into autistic persons’ experiences with the tests to obtain a driver’s license. Forty participants completed a few questions about their experiences during the licensing process. Four tentative conclusions could be drawn: (1) autistic persons seek more professional guidance than the general population, (2) the practical test is perceived to be more difficult than the theoretical test, (3) lack of predictability, communication problems, and time pressure are the most reported problems for autistic individuals, and (4) many of the reported problems could be linked to core autism traits. Moreover, after comparing the study participants’ pass rates to the general pass rate in Flanders, a preliminary conclusion could be drawn that, although the participants experienced many difficulties during the practice period and the practical test, their success rates were not lower than those of the general population. These study results can be the basis for follow-up research to move towards a more autism-friendly licensing system.

Other Information

Published in: Procedia Computer Science
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Qatar National Research Fund (NPRP11S-1228-170143), Examining Driving Behavior of Adults with Higher Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders to develop and evaluate an innovative driving instructor training program.



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • College of Engineering - QU
  • Qatar Transportation and Traffic Safety Center - CENG