Effects of Music on the Driving Performance of Young Drivers With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder
Purpose: Driving is an important step in attaining independence for teens and young adults as it allows for an independent mode of transportation for the development of social relationships and expansion of employment opportunities. Music and background chatter are common auditory stimulators that may improve or hinder driving performance. This pilot study investigated the effects of background music on the driving performance of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as compared with neurotypical individuals to identify how the environment can best be modulated to facilitate safe driving. Design: A quasi-experimental 2 (ASD/not ASD) X 3 (music condition: no music, light classical, and self-selected) factorial design was used. Method: Participants consisted of 33 adolescents and young adults; one group with ASD (n=18) and a control group of neurotypical individuals (n=15). All the participants were observed under the three conditions driving similar 15-minute scenarios with critical events on a driving simulator route. The dependent variable was driving performance, measured by a quantitative score from a standardized observational tool for driving, the Performance Analysis of Driving Ability (P-Drive). The learning curve was considered a covariate. Results: Repeated measures ANOVA showed no difference in driving performance among young drivers with ASD when compared across music conditions (p=0.275). While it is a small sample using a simulator, the results suggest that background music will not assist or impair with driving performance. Additionally, there was no difference overall between the two groups of drivers, ASD and neurotypical (p=.292). There was a significant effect of order and driving experience level, so these were controlled for throughout the analysis. Conclusion: While there was no difference in driving performance overall between the three music conditions, there are still key implications for practice. It may suggest background music playing may not hinder driving performance providing contesting evidence against the common assumption that music is a distraction while driving.
Goehmann, Brittany. (August 2018). Effects of Music on the Driving Performance of Young Drivers With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6953.)
Goehmann, Brittany. Effects of Music on the Driving Performance of Young Drivers With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, August 2018. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6953. May 29, 2020.
Goehmann, Brittany, “Effects of Music on the Driving Performance of Young Drivers With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, August 2018).
Goehmann, Brittany. Effects of Music on the Driving Performance of Young Drivers With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; August 2018.
East Carolina University