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Nara G. Ogata, Fabio Daga, Erwin R Boer, Remo Susanna, Felipe Medeiros; Effect of Mobile Phone Distraction on Driving Performance in Patients with Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2880. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Conversing on mobile phones while driving is a common practice, however, it may lead to distraction and motor vehicle crashes. Mobile phone use while driving can lead to decrease in the so-called functional field of view (FOV) along with a decrease in the ability to divide attention. We hypothesized that due to an already compromised peripheral FOV, subjects with glaucoma would have worse driving performance while talking on a mobile phone compared to healthy subjects.
This cross-sectional study involved 11 patients with glaucomatous visual field loss and 8 control subjects. All subjects underwent high-fidelity driving simulation using a full-size Ford Fusion cab equipped with realistic force feedback steering and motion platform (Figure 1). The driving task consisted of staying in a lane on a winding road with the driver only having to operate the steering wheel. Participants were required to complete the driving task under two conditions: with and without mobile phone use. The mobile phone task consisted of listening to a 5-word sentence every 10 seconds, after which the driver was asked whether the sentence made sense or not, besides being required to report the last word. Driving performance metrics were calculated and ability to divide attention was assessed by measuring reaction times (RT) to peripheral visual stimuli presented during simulated driving (Figure 2), with longer RTs indicating worse performance. Due to considerable skewedness, a log transformation was applied to RTs.
Subjects with glaucoma presented significantly longer RTs when compared to controls during mobile phone conversation while driving (0.20 ±0.13 vs. 0.06±0.15 log s; P=0.03). There was no difference in RT’s between glaucoma patients and controls in the task without mobile phone use (0.02±0.15 vs. -0.10±0.12 log s, respectively; P=0.08). Response to inquiries regarding conversation content did not differ between glaucoma subjects and controls (91.7% vs. 95.5%, respectively; P=0.06).
Mobile phone use while driving resulted in worse decrement in driving performance in glaucomatous compared to control subjects. Restrictions of mobile phone use while driving should probably be stricter for subjects with evidence of visual function loss from glaucoma.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
Full cab realistic driving simulator used in the experiment.
Screen pictures showing the peripheral stimulus (A), and changes on it (B and C).
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