Meeting the UK driving vision standards with reduced contrast sensitivity

Rae, Sheila M., Latham, Keziah and Katsou, Maria F. (2015) Meeting the UK driving vision standards with reduced contrast sensitivity. Eye, 30 (1). pp. 89-94. ISSN 1476-5454

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Purpose: The visual standard to hold a UK driver's license since 2012 includes visual acuity (VA) measured indoors and the ability to read a car numberplate outdoors. Individuals with reduced contrast sensitivity may have greater visual difficulties outdoors. The agreement between the two tests in the presence of combined reduction in contrast sensitivity and VA was investigated. Methods: Simulation glasses (‘sim-specs’) were used to reduce both high-contrast VA and contrast sensitivity (CS). Following evaluation of the influence of sim-specs on VA and CS, levels 2 to 4 were chosen to give a range of VAs on either side of the driving standard of 6/12. Sixty-two participants wearing sim-specs then had VA tested with Snellen and ETDRS charts indoors, and ability to read a numberplate assessed outdoors as per DVLA regulations. Results: Sim-specs reduced VA and CS by ~0.10 logMAR VA per 0.10 logCS. The sensitivity of test chart VA <6/12 to correctly predict failure on the numberplate was 61% for Snellen and 56% for ETDRS. Conclusion: False-negative and -positive rates were higher than in a previous study with uncorrected refractive error only. Reduced CS increased the lack of agreement between the two driving vision standards, which likely occurs as the VA test is performed indoors and the numberplate test outdoors. The increased likelihood of failing the numberplate test even though VA is 6/12 or better needs to be considered when advising patients on fitness to drive who have ocular disease such as cataract.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: driving
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2016 08:53
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:14

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