Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can a standard vision test predict nighttime driving performance?

Date:
April 10, 2012
Source:
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Summary:
Just because a driver has passed the motor vehicle administration's vision test may not mean he or she is safe to drive. A recent study found that the frequency and distance at which drivers with moderate levels of blurred vision and cataracts recognize pedestrians at night was severely reduced, even when the drivers have passed the required vision test.

Just because a driver has passed the motor vehicle administration's vision test may not mean he or she is safe to drive. A recent study found that the frequency and distance at which drivers with moderate levels of blurred vision and cataracts recognize pedestrians at night was severely reduced, even when the drivers have passed the required vision test.

Related Articles


"Optical blur and cataracts are very common and lots of people with these conditions continue to drive," said author Joanne Wood of the School of Optometry and Vision Science and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology. "The aim of our study was to better understand how these visual conditions affect the ability to recognize and respond to roadside pedestrians at nighttime, and we also wanted to see if certain types of pedestrian clothing could improve the ability of a driver to recognize pedestrians at night, even when the driver had some level of visual loss."

In the study, Even moderate visual impairments degrade drivers' ability to see pedestrians at night, published in the Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science journal, 28 young adult licensed drivers who satisfied the minimum Australian driver's licensing criteria of 20/40 or better vision were used to measure a driver's ability to recognize pedestrians.

The participants drove at night on a closed road circuit wearing simulated refractive blur and cataract lenses. The pedestrians wore one of three different type of clothing: all black; all black with a reflective vest; and all black with reflectors on their wrists, elbows, ankles, knees, shoulders and waist to create a perception of human movement, known as biomotion. Sixteen of the 28 participants were asked to detect the pedestrian against simulated headlight glare.

Findings demonstrated that cataracts are significantly more disruptive than blurred vision. Drivers with simulated blurred vision recognized that a pedestrian was present 52.1% of the time and those with simulated cataracts recognized pedestrians only 29.9% of the time. The research team found that pedestrians wearing the reflective strips to create the biomotion condition were much more visible to drivers (82.3% of the time) than those wearing all black (13.5% of the time). Whether glare was present or not, none of the drivers with simulated cataracts recognized the pedestrian wearing black.

The results also show how these impairments reduce the distances at which drivers first recognize the presence of pedestrians at night. In the experiment, drivers with normal vision recognized pedestrians at longer distances: on average 3.6 times longer than drivers with blurred condition and 5.5 times longer than drivers with cataract conditions.

According to the researchers, the results have important implications and suggest that in order to maximize drivers' ability to see pedestrians from a safe distance, they should wear their optimum optical corrective lenses and cataract surgery should be performed early enough to avoid potentially dangerous driving conditions.

"Future studies should further explore the impact of uncorrected refractive error, cataracts and other forms of visual impairment on driving performance and safety as well as determine the value of some relatively new ways to measure visual abilities, such as straylight testing and contrast sensitivity," suggests Wood. "It is possible that measuring only visual acuity does not provide us with the best way to determine who is safe to drive."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. M. Wood, R. Tyrrell, A. Chaparro, R. Marszalek, T. Carberry, B. S. Chu. Even moderate visual impairments degrade drivers' ability to see pedestrians at night. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 2012; DOI: 10.1167/iovs.11-9083

Cite This Page:

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. "Can a standard vision test predict nighttime driving performance?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120410150000.htm>.
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. (2012, April 10). Can a standard vision test predict nighttime driving performance?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120410150000.htm
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. "Can a standard vision test predict nighttime driving performance?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120410150000.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins