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.
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.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to examine the effects of aging as well as visual impairment on retinal-image quality and visual performance in drivers. We use a new visual test called Halo v1.0 software for quantifying the discrimination capacity, an important visual function for evaluating the visual disturbances perceived by the observer. The study included 55 subjects with normal vision and 15 older subjects with cataracts. All subjects were examined for visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, visual-discrimination capacity and optical quality. Subjects also completed a subjective Driving Habits Questionnaire (DHQ). Older drivers with and without visual impairment showed significantly (p < 0.05) worse visual performance and deteriorated retinal-image quality, even when their binocular visual acuity was ≥20/25. In conclusion, some visual functions are considerably diminished in older drivers, even when visual acuity is sufficient to get or renew a driver's license. Halo software enables easy quantification of night-vision disturbances such as halos, which could impede the detection of pedestrians, cyclists, or traffic signals, thereby making this system advisable in clinical practice, e.g. in the requirements for a driver's license, particularly for older drivers.
    Applied ergonomics 12/2012; · 1.11 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To compare self-reported driving difficulty by persons with hemianopic or quadrantanopic field loss with that reported by age-matched drivers with normal visual fields; and to examine how their self- reported driving difficulty compares to ratings of driving performance provided by a certified driving rehabilitation specialist (CDRS). Participants were 17 persons with hemianopic field loss, 7 with quadrantanopic loss, and 24 age-matched controls with normal visual fields, all of whom had current driver's licenses. Information was collected via questionnaire regarding driving difficulties experienced in 21 typical driving situations grouped into three categories (involvement of peripheral vision, low visibility conditions, and independent mobility). On-road driving performance was evaluated by a CDRS using a standard assessment scale. Drivers with hemianopic and quadrantanopic field loss expressed significantly more difficulty with driving maneuvers involving peripheral vision and independent mobility, compared to those with normal visual fields. Drivers with hemianopia and quadrantanopia who were rated as unsafe to drive based upon an on-road assessment by the CDRS were no more likely to report driving difficulty than those rated as safe. This study highlights aspects of driving that hemianopic or quadrantanopic persons find particularly problematic, thus suggesting areas that could be focused on driving rehabilitation. Some drivers with hemianopia or quadrantanopia may inappropriately view themselves as good drivers when in fact their driving performance is unsafe as judged by a driving professional.
    Current eye research 03/2011; 36(3):270-7. · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To compare self-reported driving ability with objective measures of on-road driving performance in a large cohort of older drivers. METHODS: Two hundred and seventy community-living adults aged 70-88 years recruited via the electoral roll completed a standardized assessment of on-road driving performance and questionnaires determining perceptions of their own driving ability, confidence, and driving difficulties. Retrospective self-reported crash data over the previous 5 years were recorded. RESULTS: Participants reported difficulty with only selected driving situations, including driving into the sun, in unfamiliar areas, in wet conditions, and at night or dusk. The majority of participants rated their own driving as good to excellent. Of the 47 (17%) drivers who were rated as potentially unsafe to drive, 66% rated their own driving as good to excellent. Drivers who made critical errors, where the driving instructor had to take control of the vehicle, had no lower self-rating of driving ability than the rest of the group. The discrepancy in self-perceptions of driving ability and participants' safety rating on the on-road assessment was significantly associated with self-reported retrospective crash rates, where those drivers who displayed greater overconfidence in their own driving were significantly more likely to report a crash. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that older drivers with the greatest mismatch between actual and self-rated driving ability pose the greatest risk to road safety. Therefore, licensing authorities should not assume that when older individuals' driving abilities begin to decline they will necessarily be aware of these changes and adopt appropriate compensatory driving behaviors; rather, it is essential that evidence-based assessments are adopted.
    The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 08/2012; · 4.31 Impact Factor