Logo UHasselt





Logo UHasselt Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action


PhD Defence Veerle Ross

PhD Defence Veerle Ross

May 26, 2016

Universiteit Hasselt

campus Diepenbeek

Agoralaan Gebouw D

3590 Diepenbeek

Lokaal Auditorium H5

On Thursday, May 26, 2016, Veerle Ross defends her PhD entitled ‘Unraveling underlying cognitive control mechanisms of risky driving in young novice drivers’. In the past four years, she explored the driving behavior of young novice drivers with or without an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by examining the underlying mechanisms.

Please confirm your attendance at the defence and/or reception via veerle.ross@uhasselt.be before the 17th of May.


Despite several effective countermeasures (e.g. phased driver training with restrictions), young novice drivers have a high accident risk worldwide. In her PhD, Veerle Ross takes a close look at young and novice drivers. She examines whether they get more affected by distraction and/or they tend to engage in risky driving behaviour more often. Furthermore, she pays attention to a specific group of young novice drivers: those with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

She found that everyone’s driving performance deteriorated, as soon they got distracted. “Also young people with a higher cognitive capacity, who experience less negative effects when distracted, drove worse. Therefore, it is strongly advised to avoid each distraction behind the wheel, such as calling from a handsfree device”, said PhD-student Veerle Ross. She also explored the relation between cognition and risky driving behaviour.

In the second part of her dissertation, she concentrated her research on young novice drivers with an autism spectrum disorder. A survey of driving instructors pointed out that young novice drivers with ASD can experience problems while learning to drive. “However, this relation between driving and ASD isn’t always negative, e.g. in case of perfectionism”, said Veerle Ross. Can a driving simulator be a useful instrument to step by step learn young novice drivers with ASD how to drive? And Veerle will answer this question and many more at her defence on Thursday, May 26, 2016.

More information

PhD-student Veerle Ross
Promoter Prof. dr. Tom Brijs
Co-promoters Prof. dr. Ellen Jongen
Prof. dr. Geert Wets
Date Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 3.00 p.m.

UHasselt (campus Diepenbeek)
Agoralaan Gebouw D
Auditorium H5
3590 Diepenbeek