Learning to drive in young adults with language impairment

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  • Kevin Durkin
  • Umar Toseeb
  • Andrew Pickles
  • Nicola Botting
  • Gina Conti-Ramsden


Publication details

JournalTransportation research. Part F, Traffic psychology and behaviour
DateAccepted/In press - 23 Jul 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 9 Aug 2016
DatePublished (current) - Oct 2016
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)195-204
Early online date9/08/16
Original languageEnglish


Language impairment (LI) is a common developmental disorder which affects many aspects of young people's functional skills and engagement with society. Little is known of early driving behaviour in those with this disability. This longitudinal study examines early driving experience in a sample of young adults with LI, compared with a sample of typically developing age-matched peers (AMPs). At age 24 years, significantly fewer participants with LI had acquired a driving licence. A crucial hurdle for those with LI appeared to be the Theory part of the (UK) test. Logistic regression analysis indicated that language ability and a measure of independence at age 17 contributed to the prediction of licence possession at age 24. There was no evidence of differences in traffic violations or accident rates between those with and without LI. There is little evidence that young people with LI are at greater risk on the roads than peers without LI, but some individuals with LI might benefit from support in the course of preparation for driving and in the driving test.

Bibliographical note

© 2016 The Authors.

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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