Learning to drive in young adults with language impairment

Durkin, Kevin and Toseeb, Umar and Pickles, Andrew and Botting, Nicola and Conti-Ramsden, Gina (2016) Learning to drive in young adults with language impairment. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 42. pp. 195-204. ISSN 1369-8478 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2016.07.015)

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Language impairment (LI) is a common developmental disorder which affects many aspects of young people’s functional skills and engagement with society. Little is known of early driving behaviour in those with this disability. This longitudinal study examines early driving experience in a sample of young adults with LI, compared with a sample of typically developing age-matched peers (AMPs). At age 24 years, significantly fewer participants with LI had acquired a driving licence. A crucial hurdle for those with LI appeared to be the Theory part of the (UK) test. Logistic regression analysis indicated that language ability and a measure of independence at age 17 contributed to the prediction of licence possession at age 24. There was no evidence of differences in traffic violations or accident rates between those with and without LI. There is little evidence that young people with LI are at greater risk on the roads than peers without LI, but some individuals with LI might benefit from support in the course of preparation for driving and in the driving test.