Vision, Training Hours, and Road Testing Results in Bioptic Drivers

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Abstract

Purpose

Bioptic telescopic spectacles can be used by people with central visual acuity that does not meet the state standards to obtain an unrestricted driver’s license. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among visual and demographic factors, training hours, and the results of road testing for bioptic drivers.

Methods

A retrospective study of patients who received an initial daylight bioptic examination at the Ohio State University and subsequently received a bioptic license was conducted. Data were collected on vision including visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and visual field. Hours of driver training and results of Highway Patrol road testing were extracted from records. Relationships among vision, training hours, and road testing were analyzed.

Results

Ninety-seven patients who completed a vision examination between 2004 and 2008 and received daylight licensure with bioptic telescopic spectacles were included. Results of the first Highway Patrol road test were available for 74 patients. The median (interquartile range) hours of training before road testing was 21 (17) hours (range, 9 to 75 hours). Candidates without previous licensure were younger (p < 0.001) and had more documented training (p < 0.001). Lack of previous licensure and more training were significantly associated with having failed a portion of the Highway Patrol test and points deducted on the road test.

Conclusions

New bioptic drivers without previous nonbioptic driving experience required more training and performed more poorly on road testing for licensure than those who had previous nonbioptic licensure. No visual factor was predictive of road testing results after adjustment for previous experience. The hours of training received remained predictive of road testing outcome even with adjustment for previous experience. These results suggest that previous experience and trainer assessments should be investigated as potential predictors of road safety in bioptic drivers in future studies.

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