Assessing visual function in the older driver

Academic Article


  • Driving is a highly visual task, and thus it might be expected that the high prevalence of visual disease and vision impairment in the elderly population is primarily responsible for their driving difficulties. This article reviews the changes in the visual system and visual function that occur during the aging process, with special attention placed on how these changes could impact skills crucial for driving. Problems with earlier studies attempting to link vision and driving are discussed, and a new approach is suggested that evaluates several different aspects of the visual information processing system in older drivers and not just visual sensory abilities (e.g., visual acuity). A study is described that identified a test of visual attention that had high sensitivity and specificity in predicting which older drivers had a history of crash problems. The final section describes interventions that may minimize crash involvement by elderly drivers but which require detailed evaluation in future research.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Owsley C; Ball K
  • Start Page

  • 389
  • End Page

  • 401
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 2