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Am J Public Health. 1999 January; 89(1): 85–87.
PMCID: PMC1508504

Sensory impairment and driving: the Blue Mountains Eye Study.


OBJECTIVES: This study examined the associations between vision, hearing, loss, and car accidents. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of 3654 people aged 49 years and older in the Blue Mountains, Australia, was used. Each subject had a detailed eye examination and interview. RESULTS: Self-reported car accident rates in the past year among 2379 current drivers were 5.6% for those aged 49 to 79 years and 9.1% for those 80 years and older. A 2-line difference in visual acuity was associated with increased risk of accidents (adjusted prevalence ratio [PR] = 1.6), as was visual acuity worse than 6/18 in the right eye (PR = 2.0), overall moderate hearing loss (PR = 1.9), and hearing loss in the right ear (PR = 1.8). CONCLUSIONS: Sensory loss in drivers may be an important risk factor for car accidents.

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Selected References

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