Single- and dual-task performance during on-the-road driving at a low and moderate dose of alcohol: A comparison between young novice and more experienced drivers

Stefan Jongen, Nick N J J M van der Sluiszen*, Dennis Brown, Eric F P M Vuurman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)


Driving experience and alcohol are two factors associated with a higher risk of crash involvement in young novice drivers. Driving a car is a complex task involving multiple tasks leading to dividing attention. The aim of this study was to compare the single and combined effects of a low and moderate dose of alcohol on single- and dual-task performance between young novice and more experienced young drivers during actual driving. Nine healthy novice drivers were compared with 9 more experienced drivers in a three-way, placebo-controlled, cross-over study design. Driving performance was measured in actual traffic, with standard deviation of lateral position as the primary outcome variable. Secondary task performance was measured with an auditory word learning test during driving. Results showed that standard deviation of lateral position increased dose-dependently at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.2 and 0.5 g/L in both novice and experienced drivers. Secondary task performance was impaired in both groups at a BAC of 0.5 g/L. Furthermore, it was found that driving performance in novice drivers was already impaired at a BAC of 0.2 g/L during dual-task performance. The findings suggest that young inexperienced drivers are especially vulnerable to increased mental load while under the influence of alcohol.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2661
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology-Clinical and Experimental
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Journal Article
  • alcohol
  • dual-task performance
  • RISK
  • novice drivers
  • highway driving test
  • AGE

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