Glaucoma and driving: On-road driving characteristics

Wood, Joanne M., Black, Alex A., Mallon, Kerry L., Thomas, Ravi, & Owsley, Cynthia (2016) Glaucoma and driving: On-road driving characteristics. PLoS ONE, 11(7), Article Number-e0158318.

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Abstract

Purpose

  • To comprehensively investigate the types of driving errors and locations that are most problematic for older drivers with glaucoma compared to those without glaucoma using a standardized on-road assessment.

Methods

  • Participants included 75 drivers with glaucoma (mean = 73.2±6.0 years) with mild to moderate field loss (better-eye MD = -1.21 dB; worse-eye MD = -7.75 dB) and 70 age-matched controls without glaucoma (mean = 72.6 ± 5.0 years). On-road driving performance was assessed in a dual-brake vehicle by an occupational therapist using a standardized scoring system which assessed the types of driving errors and the locations where they were made and the number of critical errors that required an instructor intervention. Driving safety was rated on a 10-point scale. Self-reported driving ability and difficulties were recorded using the Driving Habits Questionnaire.

Results

  • Drivers with glaucoma were rated as significantly less safe, made more driving errors, and had almost double the rate of critical errors than those without glaucoma. Driving errors involved lane positioning and planning/approach, and were significantly more likely to occur at traffic lights and yield/give-way intersections. There were few between group differences in self-reported driving ability.

Conclusions

  • Older drivers with glaucoma with even mild to moderate field loss exhibit impairments in driving ability, particularly during complex driving situations that involve tactical problems with lane-position, planning ahead and observation. These results, together with the fact that these drivers self-report their driving to be relatively good, reinforce the need for evidence-based on-road assessments for evaluating driving fitness.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 97872
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: driving, older adults, glaucoma, visual field loss
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158318
ISSN: 1932-6203
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300) > Vision Science (111303)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: This is an open access article, free of all
copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used
by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made
available under the Creative Commons CC0 public
domain dedication.
Deposited On: 03 Aug 2016 00:00
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2016 22:19

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