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Vision Res. 2009 Aug;49(17):2225-31. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2009.06.017. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Interaction between visual status, driver age and distracters on daytime driving performance.

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School of Optometry and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


This study investigated the effects of visual status, driver age and the presence of secondary distracter tasks on driving performance. Twenty young (M=26.8years) and 19 old (M=70.2years) participants drove around a closed-road circuit under three visual (normal, simulated cataracts, blur) and three distracter conditions (none, visual, auditory). Simulated visual impairment, increased driver age and the presence of a distracter task detrimentally affected all measures of driving performance except gap judgments and lane keeping. Significant interaction effects were evident between visual status, age and distracters; simulated cataracts had the most negative impact on performance in the presence of visual distracters and a more negative impact for older drivers. The implications of these findings for driving behaviour and acquisition of driving-related information for people with common visual impairments are discussed.

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