Comparison of Driving Performance of Young and Old Drivers (with and without Visual Impairment) Measured during In-Traffic Conditions


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Abstract

Purpose.The aim of this study was to determine whether visual impairment and age affected driver performance and safety rated during in-traffic driving conditions.Methods.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.Results.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.Discussion.Older drivers with or without visual impairment were rated as being less safe than the younger and middle-aged drivers with normal vision.

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