The Elemental Driving Simulator (EDS) is a computer-based quasi-simulator for use by professionals in driver rehabilitation with cognitively at-risk persons (e.g., older drivers, persons returning to driving after a head injury or stroke). The EDS helps address the issue of whether the individual possesses sufficient information processing capabilities to drive safely. The EDS was developed to facilitate a driving advisement process based on objective, norm-referenced measures of the cognitive abilities regarded as critical for driving, including mental processing efficiency, simultaneous information processing, perceptual – motor skills, and impulse control. A unique feature of the EDS is its attempt to measure insight, and, hence, judgment, by comparing self-appraisal with performance.
Validation of the EDS shows good agreement with decisions based on a comprehensive on- and off-road driving assessment, large differences between old and young drivers, and a statistically significant correlation with at-fault accidents.
Philosophy: The goal of the driver advisement process is not only to determine if the individual has adequate cognitive capacities, but also to demonstrate the findings clearly enough so that the driver will make the correct decision (i.e., whether and how to continue driving). It is essential to recognize that authorization of licensure can only be rendered by the state department of motor vehicles. Nevertheless, it is the individual who decides whether, when, and where to exercise this authorization. The EDS was designed to assist in this decision-making process.