The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Evaluating Simulated Risky Traffic Situations Designed to Meet the Goals for Driver Education

Victor Nyberg, Linköping University (Sweden)

Birgitta Thorslund, Linköping University (Sweden)

Sam Thellman, Linköping University (Sweden)

Helena Selander, Swedish Road and Transport Research Institute, Gothenburg; Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg (Sweden)


The Swedish driver education curriculum is based on Goals for Driver Education GDE [1], where an emphasis on motivational factors and risk-awareness in driving is added to the traditional vehicular handling and mastering of traffic situations. A large proportion of deaths from traffic crashes are due to human causes [2] and young drivers are especially prone to crashes due to their lack of experience, lack of risk-perception, and tending to overestimate their driving ability [3]. A driver education curriculum should make sure that risk-awareness and motivational factors are trained and assessed. A challenge in driver assessment is to ensure that a driver’s risk-awareness is sufficiently tested during the on-road exam, since many risks are uncommon. Driving simulators offer a safe and controllable environment for education and training [4], and have been shown useful in systematically testing a driver's perception, risk-awareness, and performance in uncommon but safety-critical situations [5]. The potential benefit of a more unified use of driving simulators in driver education is examined in a Ph.D. project. One part of the project is an on-going study with the aim of exploring situations that are suitable for training and testing risk-awareness. The research questions are: 1) What kind of situations are suitable to include? 2) In a specific situation, which parts of GDE are covered? A web-based questionnaire will be distributed to 60 driver educators, well familiar with GDE, who will assess each situation presented both visually and verbally. Preliminary results from a pilot test with 10 participants indicate that the situations are suitable for educating and testing and that they are mainly focused on the second level of the GDE. Final results will be presented at the conference.



Goals for Driver Education, GDE framework, GADGET, Driving simulator, Driver assessment



[1] Hatakka, M., Keskinen, E., Gregersen, N. P., Glad, A., & Hernetkoski, K. (2002). From control of the vehicle to personal self-control; broadening the perspectives to driver education. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 5(3), 201–215.

[2] Singh, S. (2015). Critical reasons for crashes investigated in the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, February.

[3] Bates, L. J., Filtness, A., & Watson, B. (2018). Driver education and licensing programs. In Transport and Sustainability (Vol. 11).

[4] de Winter, J. C. F., van Leeuwen, P. M., & Happee, R. (2012). Advantages and Disadvantages of Driving Simulators: A Discussion. Proceedings of the Measuring Behavior Conference, Utrecht, The Netherlands, August 28-31.

[5] Thorslund, B., Thellman, S., Nyberg, V., & Selander, H. (2024). Simulator-based driving test prescreening as a complement to driver testing – Toward safer and more risk-aware drivers. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 194, 107335.


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