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PhD Defence Ariane Cuenen

PhD Defence Ariane Cuenen

Jul 12, 2016

Universiteit Hasselt

campus Diepenbeek

Agoralaan Gebouw D

3590 Diepenbeek

Lokaal Auditorium H5


dr. Ariane CUENEN



In the past years, PhD student Ariane Cuenen explored how young (16-25 years) and elderly people behave in traffic. Do they behave differently? How do traffic safety interventions influence driving behaviour? On Tuesday, July 12, 2016, she defends her PhD entitled ‘Investigating both ends of the driver age spectrum: assessment of driving behavior and evaluation of traffic safety interventions’.

Please confirm your attendance at the defence and/or reception via ariane.cuenen@uhasselt.be before the 4th of July.


Due to ageing, more and more elderly people (65+) will participate in traffic. Accident rates indicate that this age group has, as well as young novice drivers, an increased accident risk. However, previous research pointed out that ‘age’ isn’t a sufficient indicator for driving ability. Therefore, Ariane Cuenen examined in her doctoral thesis the relationship between the driving ability of elderly people and the required functional skills (cognitive/ physical).

She found that functional skills are better predictors of driving ability than age. However, functional skills on its own cannot predict driving ability considering that importance of functional skills depends on the investigated action (e.g. turning left).

As mobility is an important element in the quality of life, PhD student Ariane Cuenen examined how we can support elderly people in continuing a safe and independent mobility. In the spirit of lifelong learning, Ariane Cuenen explored how road safety programmes such as training and education can influence the driving behaviour of young (16-25 year) and elderly people. Both immediate and long-term effects of road safety initiatives on (socio-cognitive determinants of) driving behaviour were investigated.

PhD-student Ariane Cuenen found out that a direct training (e.g. driving simulator training) can improve the driving ability more than an indirect training (e.g. cognitive training). She elaborates on her research at her defence on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

More information

PhD-student Ariane Cuenen
Promoter Prof. dr. Tom Brijs
Co-promoters Prof. dr. Ellen Jongen
Prof. dr. Kris Brijs
Date Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at 3.00 p.m.
Location UHasselt (campus Diepenbeek)
Agoralaan Building D
Auditorium H5
3590 Diepenbeek