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Patrick Lee, Maria Cucuras, Robert E. Chun, Gregg C. Pusateri, Walter M Jay; GPS Usage in Bioptic and Non-Bioptic Low Vision Drivers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):502.
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<br /> We surveyed bioptic and non-bioptic Illinois low vision drivers to determine their GPS (global positioning system) device usage.
<br /> Low vision patients completed an IRB-approved phone survey regarding driving demographics and usage of GPS while driving. Patients were eligible to participate if they were 18 years of age or older, and met one of the following criteria: best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) worse than 20/40, central or significant peripheral visual field defects, or a combination of both. Participants were also required to be active drivers with an Illinois driver’s license (Day and Night, Day Only restriction, or Bioptic restriction; see link for Illinois driving vision requirements: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/drivers_license/medical_vision.html ). Participants were asked driving-related questions such as use of bioptic telescope, frequency of driving, driving comfort level and primary motivation for driving. GPS-related questions included type of GPS used (built-in car navigation device, separate device, or smartphone GPS application), frequency of use or reasons for not using, helpful features, and qualities that would make GPS more useful.
<br /> Of 27 low vision drivers, 10 (37%) used GPS while driving. Four reported use of a smartphone GPS application, 3 used a built-in car navigation system, and 3 used a separate GPS navigation unit. The average age for GPS users was 53.6 and for non-users was 75.1. All 10 drivers that used GPS while driving reported increased comfort or safety level while driving. There was a positive correlation between those that own a smartphone and those that use GPS to drive (Spearman rank correlation coefficient (SRCC)=0.394, p<0.04). Of those that use GPS to drive, all 10 reported usage when driving to unfamiliar destinations. There was no difference in GPS usage between bioptic and non-bioptic low vision drivers(SRCC=0.631, p<0.002).
<br /> Only 37 % of bioptic and non-bioptic low vision drivers used GPS devices. Those that used GPS found that it helped improve their comfort and safety while driving. Since non-GPS users were significantly older than GPS users, it was likely that older participants would benefit from GPS technology training from their low vision eye care professionals.
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