In this issue:
Men Less Likely Than Women to Stop Driving Because of Poor Vision
In a large elderly population, night driving cessation was associated with low contrast sensitivity and depression in men, and with low contrast acuity and age in women. Given equivalent poor vision function, older men are several times more likely to drive at night than their female peers.
Contrast Sensitivity Predicts Driver Recognition Performance
Contrast sensitivity predicts day and night driver recognition performance better than visual acuity at all ages. However, the combination of both visual acuity and contrast sensitivity measures provides better prediction. Older drivers have the greatest problem with recognition performance, particularly at night.
Head and Eye Coordination in Driving
Head and eye coordination is important in driving and for those who require adaptation of normal movement patterns due to field defects or vestibulopathy. The authors present a laptop-based system for functional assessment of head-eye coordination while driving either on-road or in simulators.
Is 20/40 Sufficient Vision for Safe Driving?
Driver licensing typically requires 6/12 (20/40) corrected vision. Surprisingly, the authors found that driving performance in a simulated cataract condition allowing 6/12 (20/ 40) was equivalent to that in the 6/60 (20/200) optical blur condition without simulated cataract. The authors argue for supplemental contrast sensitivity testing for driver licensure.
Visual Fields at the Wheel
The authors describe a technique to determine the visual field available to drivers and to dynamically record it during natural driving. The results have implications for the design of road environments.
Poor Vision Function Leads Older Drivers to Stop Driving
One strategy to keep older drivers safe is to encourage them to regulate their own driving. The authors found that worse scores in acuity, contrast sensitivity, central and lower peripheral visual fields were associated with voluntary driving cessation after adjusting for other demographic and health factors.
Driving Performance Depends on the Useful Field of View
A number of studies which have used the Useful Field of View (UFOV) computerized assessment of an individual's speed of information processing, ability to divide attention, and susceptibility to distraction, support this measure as a valid and reliable index of driving performance and safety.
“Time sharing” in Highway Driving a Big Problem for Older Drivers
Drivers divide their attention between traffic and all kinds of in-car tasks such as adjusting the heat or the radio or using a cell phone. This on-road study shows that healthy older drivers tend to attend to an in-car task too long, thus compromising safety.
Steering Performance for Visually Challenged Young Drivers is Deceptively “Normal” at Night
Steering abilities are preserved at night even when the ability to recognize objects and hazards is not, a pattern that could help explain why drivers fail to appreciate that their visual abilities are degraded at night.
Motorcycle Accident Risk Related to an Illusion
The size-arrival effect (De Lucia, 1991) in which smaller objects are perceived to arrive later than larger objects may account for why motorcycles are hit more often than cars at junctions.
Visual Acuity Standards for Train Crews
Best-corrected, high-contrast visual acuity is commonly used as a criterion for employment in the transportation industry. However, visual acuity standards have often been established without any known empirical linkage to visual demands of job performance. An empirically based standard was established for train crews by measuring performance on a jobcritical visual task as a function of degradation in visual acuity.
Visual Search Strategies Among Drivers
Inexperienced and experienced drivers have different visual search strategies, from the immature and demanding close range visual search of the inexperienced driver to the fully developed broad visual scanning of the experienced driver.
Visual Field Loss and Driving Performance
The authors observed large individual differences in the driving ability of patients with vision loss. They advocate that, whenever possible, patients with visual field defects should undergo a driving fitness evaluation.