© 2020 Elsevier Ltd This study contrasted the performance of drivers under actual and simulated driving conditions, in order to assess the validity of the simulators and test the hypothesis that driving is composed of largely orthogonal sub-tasks. Thirty experienced drivers completed an on-road driving test and drove two different simulators, each simulator drive comprising seven difficulty-moderated driving scenarios. Between-simulator contrasts revealed largely absolute validity, the anticipated effects of increased difficulty within driving scenarios, but weak relationships between performance of different driving scenarios. On-road driving was reliably assessed by a nationally-recognised expert driving assessor, as reflected by standard statistical measures of reliability and consistency. However, on-road driving revealed relatively little cross-category correlation of on-road driving errors, or between on-road and simulator driving. Thus, despite the compelling evidence of absolute and relative validity within and between simulators, there is little evidence of criterion validity (i.e. relationship to on road driving, as assessed by the expert assessor). Moreover, the study provides strong evidence for orthogonality in the driving task- driving comprises large numbers of relatively separate tasks.