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E. Freeman, K.A. Turano, B. Muñoz, S.K. West; Measures of Vision as Predictors of Driving Modification in Older Adults: SEE Project . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):1904.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Many types of visual function have been shown to be important to driving performance. It is not clear if poor visual function is a stimulus to older adults to change their driving behavior in an effort to ensure safety. Instead of outright driving cessation, which can have life–altering consequences, some older adults with poor visual function may be more likely to modify their driving by reducing mileage or avoiding high–risk driving situations. Using longitudinal data and objectively assessed, multiple measures of visual function, this analysis determined if older drivers with poorer visual function were more likely to modify their driving, and whether those modifications differed depending on the type of visual function lost. Methods: Data were used from the baseline and 2–year follow–up rounds of the Salisbury Eye Evaluation project, a cohort study of 2,520 older adults. Multiple measures of visual function were objectively assessed and driving information was collected via self–report. Among drivers at baseline who continued to drive at follow–up, multiple logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of incident driving modification 2 years after baseline in those with worse visual function compared to better visual function adjusting for demographic and health confounders. Results: Worse baseline scores in acuity, contrast sensitivity, central, and lower peripheral visual fields were associated with an increased odds of reduced mileage (<3000 miles per year) 2 years later (linear trend p–value<0.05). Worse baseline scores in contrast sensitivity, central, and lower peripheral visual fields were associated with a greater odds of cessation of night driving 2 years later, while worse baseline acuity scores were associated with an increased odds of cessation of driving in unfamiliar areas 2 years later (linear trend p–value<0.05). With all vision variables in the same model, the correlation between the vision variables resulted in only 1 association; lower peripheral visual fields scores > 18 points missed out of 22 were associated with a cessation of night driving. Conclusions: Older drivers with worse visual function were more likely to modify their driving by reducing mileage and avoiding high–risk driving situations than drivers with better visual function. The changes to driving depended on which type of visual function was affected. Therefore, grouping modifications together may mask these different relationships.
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