All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Despina Stavrinos

Advisory Committee Members

Karlene K Ball

Benjamin McManus

Sarah O'Kelley

Sarah Ryan

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences


Having access to adequate transportation is important for employment, healthcare, and community involvement needs. Unfortunately, the transportation needs of many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are currently not being met. Despite having the capability to achieve licensure, a significant portion of high functioning individuals with ASD are delaying licensure or not getting their driver’s license at all. High functioning individuals with ASD are likely to have the capacity to operate a motor vehicle safely, supporting the proposition that there are existing barriers to licensure beyond the contributing role of ASD traits. This dissertation examined the perceived driving styles and how they related to simulated driving performance outcomes among licensed drivers with ASD (Paper 1), investigated the barriers to licensure among individuals with ASD (examined both licensed and non-licensed individuals with ASD; additionally gained the perspective on ASD-related licensure issues from caregivers; Paper 2), and assessed the perceptions and acceptance of self-driving cars among individuals with ASD (both licensed and non-licensed; perceptions of self-driving cars from caregivers were additionally gained; Paper 3). Findings from this dissertation revealed important factors related to delayed licensure among adults with ASD (e.g., anxiousness and the ability to rely on parents for transportation needs), suggested drivers with ASD were comparable to drivers without ASD in terms of their endorsed driving iv styles, and suggested licensure status did not affect the perception of or acceptance of self-driving cars among adults with ASD. The details of each study, as well as practical implications, are discussed.



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