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DrivSim Lab Faculty Present Original Research at the Annual Research Society on Alcoholism Scientific Meeting

July 02, 2021
by Justin Laing

DrivSim Lab faculty, Drs. Barbara Banz and Federico Vaca, presented their original research at the joint conference of the 44th Annual Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) Scientific Meeting along with the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ISBRA) Congress.

Dr. Babara Banz presented a DrivSim Lab research study (Abstract 463) titled, “A preliminary examination of the relationship between early drinking patterns and vehicle control measures in driving simulation among sober young adults.” Study results show that, “Vehicle control is related to driving kinematics which are, in turn, linked to real-world risky driving.” Further, study, “…findings suggest that, even while sober, younger drinking initiation is associated with vehicle control measures that underlie risky driving behaviors, increasing crash-risk.” “These findings point to a need to broaden our understanding of how youth drinking relates to sober driving behaviors and crash-risk.”

Dr. Federico Vaca presented an NIH funded DrivSim Lab collaborative study (Abstract 690) titled, “A qualitative assessment of individual and social-environmental factors informing decision to drive impaired and ride with an impaired driver.” Results from this qualitative in-depth interview study with young adults (average age of 26 y/o and longitudinally followed since 10th grade), revealed that in the context of when they might consider driving after drinking, “they report trusting their ability to assess their impairment and that of other drivers (they may ride with)…” Moreover, additional findings suggest that, “Deciding to drive while impaired may be linked to the need to later have easy/immediate access to one’s own vehicle and riding with an impaired driver tends to occur in context of close social relationships.” The study closes by stating that, “Pragmatic considerations for remedy could include enhanced safe public transportation and expanded ride-share programing.

Both of these abstracts are published in the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Submitted by Justin Laing on July 02, 2021