A Visual Profile of the Alcoholic Driver

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Abstract

Some visual characteristics of the chronic alcoholic were investigated in a sample of 100 male alcoholic patients and 100 matched controls. The purpose of the retrospective study was to determine whether these characteristics may contribute to an increased motor vehicle accident rate among alcoholics. Significant differences between the two groups, which might affect driving abilities, were found for color vision deficiencies and the breakage and loss rate of spectacles. No significant differences were found for stereopsis deficiencies, limitation of visual field, distance phorias, ductions, or the need to wear spectacles for driving. An analysis of the refractive data suggests that alcoholic patients may be slightly more hyperopic and less astigmatic than others; however, these differences are not sufficient to influence driving ability.

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