An assessment of driving fitness in patients with visual impairment to understand the elevated risk of motor vehicle accidents

Shiho Kunimatsu-Sanuki, Aiko Iwase, Makoto Araie, Yuki Aoki, Takeshi Hara, Toru Nakazawa, Takuhiro Yamaguchi, Hiroshi Ono, Tomoyuki Sanuki, Makoto Itoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess the driving fitness of patients with glaucoma by identifying specific areas and degrees of visual field impairment that threaten safe driving. Design: Case-control study. Setting, and participants: This prospective study included 36 patients with advanced glaucoma, defined as Humphrey field analyzer (HFA; 24-2 SITA standard program) measurements of mean deviation in both eyes of worse than -12 dB, and 36 age-matched and driving exposure time-matched normal subjects. All participants underwent testing in a novel driving simulator (DS) system. Participants were recruited between September 2010 and January 2012. Main outcome measures: The number of collisions with simulated hazards and braking response time in 14 DS scenarios was recorded. Monocular HFA 24-2 test results from both eyes were merged to calculate the binocular integrated visual field (IVF). The position of the IVF subfields in which the collision-involved patients had lower sensitivity than the collision-uninvolved patients was compared with the track of the hazard. The cut-off value to predict an elevated risk of collisions was determined, as were its sensitivity and specificity, with the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve. Results: Patients with advanced glaucoma were involved in a significantly higher number of collisions in the DS than the age-matched and driving exposure time-matched normal subjects (119 vs 40, respectively, p<0.0001), especially in four specific DS scenarios. In these four scenarios, IVF sensitivity was significantly lower in the collision-involved patients than in the collision-uninvolved patients in subfields on or near the track of the simulated hazard (p<0.05). The subfields with the largest AUROC curve had values ranging from 0.72 to 0.91 and were located in the paracentral visual field just below the horizontal. Conclusions: Our novel DS system effectively assessed visual impairment, showing that simulators may have future potential in educating patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere006379
JournalBMJ open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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