The aim of this study was to explore self-reported driving habits and the factors associated with these within the first three months of return to driving following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Participants included 24 individuals with moderate to severe TBI (post-traumatic amnesia duration M = 33.26, SD = 29.69 days) and 28 healthy age, education, and gender-matched controls who completed an on-road assessment. Driving frequency and avoidance questionnaires were administered to assess premorbid driving, anticipated driving upon resuming, and driving at three months post-assessment. There were no differences between groups for premorbid driving frequency or avoidance. Individuals with TBI anticipated greater reductions in driving frequency, t(29.57) = −3.95, p < .001, and increases in avoidance, U = 171.00, z = −2.69, p < .01. On follow up, significant reductions in frequency, t(48) = −3.03, p < .01, but not avoidance, U = 239.00, z = −1.35, p = .18, were observed. Females were more likely to reduce their driving frequency, rs = −.43, p < .05, while increased anxiety was associated with increased avoidance r = .63, p < .05, and reduced frequency r = −.43, p < .05. It was concluded that individuals with TBI anticipated changes in their driving habits upon return to driving, indicating an expectation for post-injury changes to their driving lifestyle. On follow up, many of these intended changes to driving habits, particularly in relation to driving frequency, were reported by individuals with TBI, suggestive of some strategic self-regulation.
- driving habits
- Traumatic brain injury