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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Prevalence of Impairments of Visual Function Among European Drivers

AUTHOR:

Laurentius J. van Rijn

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2009

PUBLICATION:

Acta Ophthalmologica

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of impairment of visual function amongst European drivers.


Methods: A total of 2422 drivers from five European countries underwent a battery of visual function tests, including tests for visual acuity (VA), visual field (VF), contrast sensitivity, straylight (glare sensitivity) and useful field of view (UFOV). Subjects belonged to the following age categories: 45–54 years; 55–64 years; 65–74 years, and ‡ 75 years. A group of subjects aged 20–30 years served as a reference group. Results were compared with current standards for the visual function of drivers in the EU.


Results: Visual acuity in 0.5% of the younger group and 5.3% of the eldest group was below the standard required for driving. Visual acuity after proper refraction adhered to the standard in the majority of cases. Visual field results were below standard or questionable in 2.7% and 2.4%, respectively, of subjects in the eldest group. In this eldest group, impaired contrast sensitivity was present in 6.3%, increased glare sensitivity in 29.5% and impaired UFOV in 21.6% of subjects, but, as there are no standards for these criteria, the exact level of prevalence depends on the definition of impairment.


Conclusions: Prevalences of impairment of visual functions that are not included in current standards (particularly contrast sensitivity and glare sensitivity) are much higher than prevalences of functions that are included (VA and VF).