Simulator teaches ADHD teens to keep eyes on road

STORY: Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

This driving simulator is teaching teens with ADHD to keep their eyes on the road

which a study has found can lead to safer driving

[Jeff Epstein, Study leader]

“Adolescents with ADHD are some of the highest risk drivers we have on the roadways today. And up to this point we really don't have interventions that have been shown to decrease their driving risk. This is the first intervention that we were able to put out there that really does reduce driving risks. It not only reduces long look aways from the roadway which we know increased the risk but it actually decreases crash and near crash risk amongst these teens. So, our message is, hey, this is an intervention that we hope that teens will use to make themselves better drivers.”

Participants wore eye-tracking glasses that monitored head and eye movements

and were alerted when they looked away from the road for two seconds or more

At the start they averaged 22 long glances away from the road per 15-minute drive

Months later, that dropped to roughly 16 long glances in the trained group

[Jeff Epstein, Study leader]

“What we found out is that this intervention significantly reduced those long eye glances from the roadway, both during simulated driving as well as during real world driving. And we were able to tell the real world driving because we put cameras in all of these kids cars for a full year after the intervention to see what their eye glance behavior was like and we saw a very significant decrease in the number of those long eye glances away from the roadway in those children with ADHD that got assigned to the group, compared to those who got assigned to the regular drivers group.”