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Concetta F. Alberti, Eli Peli, Alex R. Bowers; Driving With Hemianopia: III. Detection of Stationary and Approaching Pedestrians in a Simulator. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(1):368-374. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.13-12737.
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To compare blind-side detection performance of drivers with homonymous hemianopia (HH) for stationary and approaching pedestrians, initially appearing at small (4°) or large (14°) eccentricities in a driving simulator. While the stationary pedestrians did not represent an imminent threat, as their eccentricity increased rapidly as the vehicle advanced, the approaching pedestrians maintained a collision course with approximately constant eccentricity, walking or running, toward the travel lane as if to cross.
Twelve participants with complete HH and without spatial neglect pressed the horn whenever they detected a pedestrian while driving along predetermined routes in two driving simulator sessions. Miss rates and reaction times were analyzed for 52 stationary and 52 approaching pedestrians.
Miss rates were higher and reaction times longer on the blind than the seeing side (P < 0.01). On the blind side, miss rates were lower for approaching than stationary pedestrians (16% vs. 29%, P = 0.01), especially at larger eccentricities (20% vs. 54%, P = 0.005), but reaction times for approaching pedestrians were longer (1.72 vs. 1.41 seconds; P = 0.03). Overall, the proportion of potential blind-side collisions (missed and late responses) was not different for the two paradigms (41% vs. 35%, P = 0.48), and significantly higher than for the seeing side (3%, P = 0.002).
In a realistic pedestrian detection task, drivers with HH exhibited significant blind-side detection deficits. Even when approaching pedestrians were detected, responses were often too late to avoid a potential collision.
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