Comparison of driving performance of young and old drivers (with and without visual impairment) measured during in-traffic conditions.

Centre for Eye Research, School of Optometry, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
Optometry and Vision Science (Impact Factor: 1.9). 05/2001; 78(5):343-9. DOI: 10.1097/00006324-200105000-00018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to determine whether visual impairment and age affected driver performance and safety rated during in-traffic driving conditions.
Participants included 30 younger, 25 middle-aged, and 35 older subjects with normal vision and 47 older subjects with visual impairment. All subjects were legally eligible to drive. Driving performance was assessed during in-traffic conditions by a professional driving instructor and an occupational therapist using specific scoring criteria.
Group allocation significantly affected driving performance as assessed by the driving instructor and occupational therapist (p < 0.05). The driving instructor and occupational therapist scores were highly correlated (r = 0.76). Of the drivers who were scored as being unsafe, all were older and the majority (75%) had visual impairment.
Older drivers with or without visual impairment were rated as being less safe than the younger and middle-aged drivers with normal vision.