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julien Adrian, Johan Le Brun, Neil Miller, Jose Alain Sahel, Gérard Saillant, Bahram Bodaghi; Implications of monocular vision for racing drivers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):1052.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Vision is an essential component of motor sport racing. However, the literature does not contain any evidence regarding the visual requirements of a racing driver or in determining whether a driver with a reduced visual field is fit to drive, or represents a danger, in a race with other drivers. The aim of this study was to investigate how monocular vision and amblyopia impact driving performance while racing.
The study was conducted in FFSA Autosport Academy, Le Mans, France and in the Institut de la Vision, Paris, France. Monocular vision and amblyopia were simulated in racing drivers and their driving performance was assessed using a driving simulator. During the driving scenario, the drivers had to detect and react to the sudden intrusion (overtaking situation) of an opponent’s racing car into their trajectory when entering a turn. A total of 44 normally-sighted professional racing drivers or students at FFSA Autosport Academy, ranging in age from 15 to 36 years (mean: 24.88 ± 9.73 years), were recruited. Each was tested on the three visual conditions in a pseudo-random order: normal vision (0 logMAR), simulated amblyopia (0,5 logMAR), simulated monocular vision (1 logMAR). Logistic regression was then used to explore how monocular vision and amblyopia affect drivers’ performance while confronting with critical situations.
The monocular condition is the only one significant in the logistical regression models (p<.05) in the situation where the turning direction (the direction where the drivers must look) and the location of the entering car are congruent with the visual impairment. Model parameters show that racing drivers in the monocular condition have 4.77 (95% CI 3.004 - 7.571) greater odds of having a collision when compared to racing drivers in the baseline condition. No impact on the occurrence of collisions was observed in simulated amblyopia conditions, nor among participants with simulated monocular vision in situation where the vehicle entered the side of the healthy eye.
This study objectively demonstrates that monocularity has a great impact on driving performance and safety during car racing. The driving situations that pose problems in monocular conditions are those where the target, to be detected and avoided, appears on the blind eye side. Driver’s performance under amblyopia conditions seems to be less affected.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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