The effects of training impulse control on simulated driving

Julie Hatfield*, Ann Williamson, E. James Kehoe, James Lemon, Amaël Arguel, Prasannah Prabhakharan, R. F.Soames Job

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    There is growing interest in young driver training that addresses age-related factors, including incompletely developed impulse control. Two studies investigated whether training of response inhibition can reduce risky simulated driving in young drivers (aged 16–24 years). Each study manipulated aspects of response inhibition training then assessed transfer of training using simulated driving measures including speeding, risky passing, and compliance with traffic controls. Study 1 (n = 65) used a Go/No-go task, Stop Signal Task and a Collision Detection Task. Designed to promote engagement, learning, and transfer, training tasks were driving-relevant and adaptive (i.e. difficulty increased as performance improved), included performance feedback, and were distributed over five days. Control participants completed matching “filler” tasks. Performance on trained tasks improved with training, but there was no significant improvement in simulated driving. Study 2 enhanced response inhibition training using Go/No-go and SST tasks, with clearer performance feedback, and 10 days of training. Control participants completed testing only, in order to avoid any possibility of training response inhibition in the filler tasks. Again performance on trained tasks improved, but there was no evidence of transfer of training to simulated driving. These findings suggest that although training of sufficient interest and duration can improve response inhibition task performance, a training schedule that is likely to be acceptable to the public does not result in improvements in simulated driving. Further research is needed to investigate whether response inhibition training can improve risky driving in the context of real-world motivations for risky driving.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-15
    Number of pages15
    JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


    • young drivers
    • novice drivers
    • driver training
    • driver education
    • impulsivity
    • response inhibition


    Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of training impulse control on simulated driving'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this