Using Naturalistic Methods to Examine Real-World Driving Behavior in Individuals With TBI Upon Return to Driving: A Pilot Study

Phuong Hua, Judith L. Charlton, Jennie L. Ponsford, James R. Gooden, Pamela E. Ross, Michel Bédard, Shawn Marshall, Sylvain Gagnon, Renerus J. Stolwyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To characterize the real-world driving habits of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) using naturalistic methods and to demonstrate the feasibility of such methods in exploring return to driving after TBI. METHODS: After passing an on-road driving assessment, 8 participants with TBI and 23 matched controls had an in-vehicle device installed to record information regarding their driving patterns (distance, duration, and start/end times) for 90 days. RESULTS: The overall number of trips, distance and duration or percentage of trips during peak hour, above 15 km from home or on freeways/highways did not differ between groups. However, the TBI group drove significantly less at night, and more during the daytime, than controls. Exploratory analyses using geographic information system (GIS) also demonstrated significant within-group heterogeneity for the TBI group in terms of location of travel. CONCLUSIONS: The TBI and control groups were largely comparable in terms of driving exposure, except for when they drove, which may indicate small group differences in driving self-regulatory practices. However, the GIS evidence suggests driving patterns within the TBI group were heterogeneous. These findings provide evidence for the feasibility of employing noninvasive in-car recording devices to explore real-world driving behavior post-TBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E55-E60
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • geographic information systems
  • on-road driving
  • rehabilitation
  • traumatic brain injury

Cite this