Brief Report
Issue Date: July 05, 2019
Published Online: July 08, 2019
Updated: August 28, 2019
Visual Field Impairment and Driver Fitness: A 1-Year Review of Crashes and Traffic Violations
Author Affiliations
  • Lisa Kristalovich, MSc, is Occupational Therapist, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and Rehabilitation Research Program, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • W. Ben Mortenson, PhD, OT, is Associate Professor, Rehabilitation Research Program and Department of Occupational Sciences and Occupational Therapy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Principal Investigator, International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and Principal Investigator, Rehabilitation Research Program, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; ben.mortenson@ubc.ca
Article Information
Community Mobility and Driving / Education of OTs and OTAs / Vision / Columns: Brief Report
Brief Report   |   July 05, 2019
Visual Field Impairment and Driver Fitness: A 1-Year Review of Crashes and Traffic Violations
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 07 2019, Vol. 73, 7305345010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2019.030973
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 07 2019, Vol. 73, 7305345010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2019.030973
Abstract

Importance: Occupational therapists frequently assess the fitness to drive of people with visual field impairment, but the relationship between these assessments and driving performance over time is not well understood.

Objective: To determine traffic violation and crash incidence over a 1-yr period for drivers with visual field impairment.

Design: Retrospective review of medical and driving records.

Setting: British Columbia, Canada.

Participants: Participants (N = 445) were ages 26–74 yr with binocular, corrected visual acuity of ≥20/50. Goldmann visual field tests were reviewed to stratify participants on the basis of visual field impairment and whether impairments exceeded licensing standards.

Outcome and Measures: Traffic records were reviewed to determine group-specific traffic violations and crash incidence during the year after the visual field test.

Results: Of 445 participants, 292 held a valid driver’s license during the designated period. Participants not meeting the licensing standards were less likely to become licensed than participants who met the standards. The results indicate that drivers with visual field impairment did not have a higher probability of crashes or violations than drivers without visual field impairment.

Conclusion: Drivers with visual field impairment who retained a driver’s license did not have an increased probability of crashes in the following year. A larger, prospective, mixed methods study of long-term driving behaviors among people with visual field impairment is recommended.

What This Article Adds: This study provides preliminary data on the 1-yr incidence of traffic violations and crashes among people with visual field impairment.