June 2023
Volume 64, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2023
Driving habits and hazard detection in bioptic drivers
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Bradley E Dougherty
    The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • Rebecca A Deffler
    The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • Halea Kohl
    The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • San-San L Cooley
    The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Bradley Dougherty None; Rebecca Deffler None; Halea Kohl None; San-San Cooley None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Ohio Lions Eye Research Foundation Fellowship, Prevent Blindness Ohio Young Female Investigator Award, NIH T35 EY007151
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2023, Vol.64, 1986. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Bradley E Dougherty, Rebecca A Deffler, Halea Kohl, San-San L Cooley; Driving habits and hazard detection in bioptic drivers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2023;64(8):1986.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : Bioptic telescopic spectacles (BTS) allow individuals with central vision impairment to obtain driving privileges. The purpose of this study was to analyze relationships among self-reported driving exposure, dependence, driving difficulty, and hazard detection in bioptic drivers with low vision.

Methods : Visual acuity was measured for each eye individually and through the BTS. Contrast sensitivity testing was performed with the Mars chart. Driving exposure and difficulty were measured using the Driving Habits Questionnaire (Owsley et al.). Hazard perception testing was conducted using 30 commercially available first-person driving video clips. Bioptic drivers were tested with and without BTS in alternating blocks. Hazard detection times for each clip were converted to z-scores, converted back to seconds using the average response time across all videos, and then compared among conditions. Analyses of relationships among hazard detection and driving behaviors were adjusted for age.

Results : Twenty-one licensed bioptic drivers with low vision and 21 normally-sighted control drivers were enrolled. There was no significant difference in age (mean±SD = 50±15 years for bioptic drivers vs 50±12 years for controls; P=0.926). Control drivers had better visual acuity (logMAR -0.50±0.07) than visually impaired drivers (logMAR 0.69±0.20 with carrier lenses, P<0.001, logMAR 0.14±0.12, P<0.001, with telescope). Contrast sensitivity was poorer among bioptic drivers (1.57±0.21 vs 1.80±0.06, P<0.001). Bioptic drivers had slower mean hazard response times than controls (sec): bioptic with BTS = 5.3±1.1, bioptic w/out BTS = 6.1±1.6, normally-sighted = 4.0±1.4. Bioptic drivers reported more difficulty with various on-road scenarios than controls (average from DHQ 4.73±0.24 controls vs 4.27±0.52 BTS, P<0.001) and greater dependence on other drivers (P<0.001), but there was no significant difference in weekly mileage. Greater reported difficulty with road scenarios (P=0.013) and dependence on other drivers (P=0.002) were associated with slower hazard perception times among all participants.

Conclusions : Bioptic drivers report more dependence on other drivers and more difficulty with various road scenarios. Slower hazard response times on a video-based test were associated with more self-reported driving difficulty and greater dependence on other drivers.

This abstract was presented at the 2023 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 2023.


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